Thursday :: Jun 12, 2003

Tom DeLay Gives the Finger to the Working Poor and Military Families

by Steve

Tom DeLay won the first round several minutes ago when the House refused to follow the Senate’s lead in fixing the deletion of the working poor from the child tax exemption increase and rebate. In passing their own version however, the House GOP managed to take care of better-off families and stick it to military families.

The House voted narrowly Thursday to extend $1,000 child tax credits through the rest of the decade while preventing low-income families from cashing in on rebates going out to other households this summer.

The 224-201 vote on the package of $82 billion in new tax cuts sets up a confrontation with the Senate, which a week ago passed a much smaller bill to allow 6.5 million minimum-wage households to qualify for checks of up to $400 per child being mailed to middle-income parents.

The House also removed from a Senate-passed bill language that would have enabled families of servicemen and servicewomen who served in the war with Iraq to claim bigger child tax credits.

The House also gives wealthier married couples a bigger credit, allowing couples who make $150,000 or more to claim part of the credit. It currently starts to disappear for couples who make $110,000 or more.

The vastly different approaches taken by the House and Senate set up a fight between the party's deficit watchdogs and its most ardent tax-cutters.

Moderates in the House and Senate said they prefer the Senate's small bill, which costs the Treasury nothing because the tax cuts are paid for with an extension of customs fees. The White House also said it would accept the Senate's bill.

Democrats said the House GOP's changes will trigger endless negotiations and kill any chance that low-income families would get checks similar to those going this summer to 25 million middle-income parents.

"I don't think it's ever going to happen," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif.

The White House said Thursday it wanted the House and Senate to "quickly resolve their differences." But Republicans in the two chambers have veered far apart in their response to the political pressure for an expansion of child credits to more low-income families.

"They're not exactly lobbying particularly hard," said moderate Rep. Michael Castle.

I love the quote from the cracker-boy Congressman from Alabama who whined that the opposition was turning the tax code into a welfare system. As if the GOP hasn't turned the tax code into corporate welfare and class warfare themselves.

Castle’s comment speaks volumes. Bush seems to relish strong-arming Congress to go to war or browbeat them on terrorism. But he is a pussy when it comes to doing the right thing for the working poor. He is the ultimate class warrior. Let’s see how much work he does, if any, to push the House to adopt the Senate version in the conference committee.

Another campaign issue handed to the Democrats courtesy of Tom DeLay.

Steve :: 3:07 PM :: Comments (14) :: Digg It!