Cornyn Pushes for Clean Extension of Tax Relief Measures

In: All News   Posted 06/17/2008

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, joined with his Republican colleagues today in successfully preventing an effort by Senate Democrats to pass permanent tax increases on the backs of working families and small businesses, by tying the increases to needed short-term tax relief provisions. Senator Cornyn said he supports a number of the provisions contained in H.R. 6049, which includes only a one-year extension of the state and local sales tax extension and a number of alternative energy tax incentives, both important to Texas, but said they shouldn’t come at the expense of permanent tax increases in other sections of the IRS code. He joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in calling for bipartisan negotiations to ensure that the tax extenders, which enjoy bipartisan support, can be passed in a clean bill. “An extension of the sales tax deduction for Texas, AMT relief for working families and renewable or alternative energy tax credits should not be held hostage by a desire on the part of Senate Democrats to permanently raise taxes elsewhere,” Sen. Cornyn said today. “There are key provisions in this bill, such as the tax extenders and alternative energy tax credits, which enjoy strong bipartisan support so there is no reason the Senate cannot pass a clean bill as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate appears to have dug-in and said no short-term tax relief without permanent tax increases elsewhere. I think that is an unfortunate position and I hope they will engage Republicans in bipartisan negotiations to move these issues forward.” Among the objectionable provisions included in H.R. 6049 as follows:

  • It contains permanent tax increases to offset temporary extensions of current law.
  • The bill expands the Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements to projects financed with the proceeds of the New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds.
  • The bill includes Senator Schumer’s $1.2 billion tax earmark for New York City to build a rail line to the JFK Airport.
  • The bill provides a new $1.6 billion tax benefit just for trial lawyers. It allows trial lawyers to claim a tax deduction for their up-front expenses in contingency cases (cases in which the lawyer’s compensation is based on what he or she wins for the client).

Senator Cornyn is a cosponsor of the Alternative Minimum Tax and Extenders Tax Relief Act of 2008 (S. 3098), which, unlike H.R. 6049, provides relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax; does not raise taxes; and includes a two-year extension of a number of expired provisions including the states and local sales tax deduction, tuition deduction, and the R&D tax credit. S. 3098, also extends a number of clean energy production incentives, including the renewable energy production tax credit, solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credit, as well as the alternative fuels credit and other provisions that help improve energy efficiency. On a related note, Sen. Cornyn co-sponsored legislation, along with Sen. Hutchison, to make permanent the ability of Texans to deduct state sales taxes on federal tax returns. Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.