This afternoon, the House passed H.R. 2029 by a vote of 318 to 109. All of Georgia’s representatives voted in favor of the bill with the exception of the 4th District’s Hank Johnson and the 5th District’s John Lewis. The Protect America from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 continues many popular tax breaks that are typically renewed each year.
This year’s version makes several tax breaks permanent, including the tax break for commuters using mass transit, the American Opportunity tax credit, which helps pay college costs, and enhancements to the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. Other tax breaks are extended only through FY 2016.
The tax extenders bill is the next to last item on Congress’s agenda for the year. What remains is the omnibus spending bill, which will determine how $1.067 trillion in discretionary spending will be allocated for fiscal year 2016. And as you can see from the tweets at right, there are things to like and dislike about the spending plan. One of the things to dislike is language dealing with the water wars that could lead to the entire Georgia delegation voting no tomorrow, when the vote is expected to be taken.
No such opposition arose from Georgia’s House Republicans over the tax extenders bill. Below, statements of applause and support:
6th District Rep. and Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price:
“As we have seen over the past several years, when Washington creates uncertainty in the economy, individuals, families and job creators have less opportunity to succeed. With this legislation – which extends, in many cases permanently, important tax provisions – Congress is alleviating much of that burden of uncertainty and helping folks better plan for their future. Americans will keep more of their hard-earned money to spend and invest as they see fit, and that is vital to building a healthy economy and a less intrusive federal government. While passage of this legislation is important, we must remain committed to fundamental tax reform that will make the tax code simpler, fairer and boost America’s competitive edge in the global economy.”
1st District Rep. Buddy Carter:
“Since I arrived in Congress, I have been fighting to simplify America’s antiquated and overly burdensome tax code that is the greatest threat to economic opportunity in our nation,” Carter said. “With the highest corporate tax rate in the world and an overly complex tax code, creating a fairer tax code and reining in the bureaucrats at the IRS are the best moves we can make to empower all Americans to achieve the American Dream. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act works to accomplish this by reining in the out-of-control IRS and making 40 percent of the tax extenders permanent laying the groundwork for the comprehensive tax reform our nation deserves.”
“This legislation continues efforts to dismantle the train wreck of Obamacare by delaying the tax on medical devices for two years,” Carter said. “Hardworking Americans and job creators deserve stability and they will only be provided this if Obamacare is eliminated and we finally put an end to the endless cycle of expiring tax policies. I am proud to support this legislation today to provide a strong path to both and I will continue my fight to completely abolish the IRS and scrap our current tax code.”
7th District Rep. Rob Woodall:
“Working families and job creators need certainty. Retroactive, year-end tax extensions have been all too common – and with this bill we’ve moved significantly closer to providing the long-term certainty that has been absent in recent years,” said Rep. Woodall. “From the Research and Development Tax Credit to Section 179 expensing, we’ve made permanent many of the important provisions that help our small businesses and entrepreneurs innovate and allow the American people to better plan for their future; we’ve continued to chip away at the detrimental effects of Obamacare on hardworking Americans by placing a moratorium on the job-killing medical device tax and the punitive ‘Cadillac tax’ on family health plans; and we’ve laid the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform solutions going forward. There’s more work to do, but this measure is another example of how we are seeing the gears of the legislative process move once again in Washington. The American people are talking, and Congress is listening. Together, we are making a difference.”
10th District Rep. Jody Hice:
“With the passage of the PATH Act of 2015, I am confident that American entrepreneurs and manufacturers will be empowered to get back to what they do best, and that’s getting down to business. The PATH Act permanently guarantees tax extensions for research and development, which will foster long-term innovation and economic growth for American entrepreneurs and the business community. Additionally, with the extension of Section 179, small business owners are afforded more predictability, and this will provide certainty in challenging economic times to America’s job creators. Lastly, I am very encouraged that this commonsense legislation prevents the medical community from suffering from the disastrous effects of the Obamacare Medical Device tax for an additional two years.”