Rep. Pascrell Floor Statement on Senate Amendment to H.R. 8
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, January 03, 2013, 07:35 PM EST
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), New Jersey's only member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, tonight made the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 8:
American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.- H.R. 8
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. ∙ 1/01/2013
We don't have a perfect bill in front of us, but we have a strong start. Most importantly, this legislation will provide much needed certainty to millions of Middle Class American families that their income taxes will not go up.
Since the recession of 2008, there has been a 25% increase in the number of families below the poverty line in my home state of New Jersey. Unfortunately, I'm sure we'll see more as a result of devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
We've been able to help these families in need, by extending the Earned Income Tax Credit to 563,000 New Jersey taxpayers, who earn an average of $2,169 more because of the program. We've also helped over 460,000 New Jersey's families take advantage of the Child Tax Credit, and almost 400,000 who've been able to use Education Tax Credits.
The legislation before us extends these important provisions.
In addition, under the current tax system, New Jersey is the ultimate "Donor State," giving up forty-five cents of every dollar we give to the Federal Government.
One of main drivers of the Garden State's tax burden is the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax. That is why it has been a priority of mine to remove this guillotine hanging over the heads of New Jersey's middle class families.
Just like the mess before us today, New Jersey's AMT problems are the result of the same short-sighted policies that contribute to almost half our deficit- the Bush Tax Cuts.
If we do not pass this legislation, 87% of residents of Bergen County, New Jersey who make $75,000 would be subject to this to the AMT. If we do pass this, only 0.2% of those families will.
For years failed to take serious and long term steps to address this problem, and this bill today finally solves this problem for good.
So while this deal is not everything I wanted, we cannot let the perfect triumph over the good. I support this legislation because it is time for the extremist right to stop using the Middle Class as a bargaining chip.
I urge a Yea vote.