WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following remarks today on the House floor in opposition to the Republicans' Tax Reconciliation Act of 2005:
"Mr. Speaker, this blatantly unfair and grossly irresponsible legislation represents the last gasp of the Republican party's failed economic policies, which have only caused greater disparity in America and driven our nation into the fiscal ditch over the last five and one-half years. Today, our Republican friends are desperate to pass this conference report because they realize that, after November, the party is over.
"Make no mistake, Mr. and Mrs. America, about what this legislation means to you: According to the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, if you are among the two-one-hundredths (0.02) of households making $1 million a year, you get a tax cut of nearly $42,000 - enough to buy a brand new Lexus automobile!
"If you're struggling to make ends meet, earning between $10,000 and $20,000, you get a tax cut of just $2 - enough to buy about half a gallon of gasoline!
"And, if you're firmly in the middle, with a household income between $75,000 and $100,000, you get a tax cut of some $400 - $7.75 per week - enough to purchase about three gallons of gasoline a week!
"Yesterday, Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine stated: 'The preponderance of these revenues [in this conference report] will go to upper-income people - people who make a million dollars or more. It's a question of priorities." Priorities, indeed!
"Four months ago, Congressional Republicans slashed $39 billion from student loans, Medicare and Medicaid, and child support enforcement. And today, 5.4 million more Americans live in poverty than when President Bush took office. Six million more are without health insurance. Real median household incomes are down $1,670. And still, Republicans want to give millionaires a new Lexus?
"This conference report is a continuation of five and one-half years of the most irresponsible fiscal policies in the history of our country. I urge my colleagues: Vote against this reckless conference report."