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Mascaro reports: "One of the top items on President Barack Obama's to do list - a 10 percent tax break for small businesses that make new hires - got tangled in an election-year tax debate as Republicans led a filibuster to block the measure."

The US Capitol building in Washington. (photo: EPA)
The US Capitol building in Washington. (photo: EPA)



Republicans Block Tax Break for Small Businesses

By Lisa Mascaro, McClatchy DC

15 July 12

 

ne of the top items on President Barack Obama's to do list - a 10 percent tax break for small businesses that make new hires - got tangled in an election-year tax debate as Republicans led a filibuster to block the measure.

The legislation would have provided the tax credit to companies that hire new employees or otherwise expand their payrolls this year, a typically popular approach among the GOP. Republicans in the Senate did not necessarily object to the measure, but they protested Thursday after Democrats refused to allow votes on other amendments.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, sought votes on other tax proposals, specifically one that would extend for another year the tax breaks from the George W. Bush administration that expire in December.

Those Bush-era tax rates have taken center stage in the race for the White House as Obama pushed this week to keep low rates only on family incomes up to $250,000. For earnings beyond that, Obama wants to allow the rates to rise to their levels during the Clinton administration, which would boost the top tax bracket from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Votes on the competing tax measures are expected later this month in the House and Senate, launching a debate that will likely ripple through the August recess of campaigning.

"If the president has a proposal, we'll be happy to send an intern down to the White House to pick it up," said McConnell. "But we can't vote on a speech."

Democrats on Capitol Hill are hesitant to quickly hold votes on Obama's proposal - and in fact are still drafting it - even though polls show Americans support asking wealthier households to pay more. They conducted their own filibuster of McConnell's offer as Obama is on the road, making his case for tax changes at campaign stops in critical swing states.

"The more people hear about the two sides, the better off we are," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

In the meantime, the small business tax break was blocked on a vote of 53-44 after the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to break the GOP-led filibuster. Two Republican senators, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada who have tough re-elections this fall - voted with Democrats. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined Republicans in voting no.

The measure would have provided a 10 percent tax credit, up to $500,000 on payrolls of $5 million, for businesses that make new hires or otherwise expand their payrolls.

The legislation also included a popular provision to allow companies to deduct 100 percent of certain investments in new equipment, rather than the standard 50 percent, for 2012.

 

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+1 # dbrown 2012-07-15 11:17
"... got tangled in an election-year tax debate as Republicans lead a filibuster to block the measure."

Oh, for pity's sake, the past tense of "to lead" is "led," not "lead."

Are NO copy editors still employed in journalism?

*** RSN MODERATOR'S NOTE ***

Thank you dbrown. We've corrected the mistake. Unfortunately, we don't have enough staff to copy-edit non-original articles.
 
 
+6 # leedeegirl 2012-07-15 13:50
Quoting dbrown:
"... got tangled in an election-year tax debate as Republicans lead a filibuster to block the measure."

Oh, for pity's sake, the past tense of "to lead" is "led," not "lead."

Are NO copy editors still employed in journalism?


i'm a copy editor, and i can tell you that jobs for us are few and far between (and don't pay all that well, either) ...
 
 
-2 # dick 2012-07-15 11:32
I wish the IGNORANT, UNCARING media would quit calling a thumb of the nose a "filibuster." A filibuster is a continuous, uninterrupted, 24/7 debate. It is incredibly difficult to sustain, because Senators are spoiled rotten wimps, & because it calls attention to unpopular minority positions. The kiss ass, capitulating, cry baby, candy ass Dems have not required their good buddies, the T-Party GOPers, to actually filibuster in decades. Remember Civil Rights filibusters? They HURT GOP, FAILED. Dems are Co-Conspiraters with T-Party GOPers. Face it.
 
 
+2 # LeeMG 2012-07-15 19:01
The Democrats should make the Republicans really filibuster. Every time Harry Reid bends to threats,he breaks the will of Democrats and makes the swamp of the senate murkier.
 
 
+8 # marind 2012-07-15 11:43
Wow. There really are no lengths the GOP won't go to to destroy American business.

But in what alternate universe is more than 50% NOT a majority? The filibuster rule as applied by the GOP is blatantly unconstitutiona l.
 
 
+5 # Bodiotoo 2012-07-15 11:44
McConnell can not vote on a speech...but he sure like to vote on a lot of BS!
 
 
+4 # mdhome 2012-07-15 14:15
What an unamerican a$$hole that McConnell is, can nobody take him out?
 
 
+10 # Regina 2012-07-15 14:46
The Republicans aren't really, literally, looking for tax reductions -- they categorically oppose anything put forward by Democrats, for the express purpose of making Obama fail. They're all etch-a-sketches ! Don't look for logic there -- logic has two syllables, which is too many for doctrinaire idiots.
 
 
+2 # freeportguy 2012-07-17 07:53
GOP trying to get their way on the back of the small businesses they always claim to "defend"...

Republicans NEVER miss a chance to prove that they are nothing but a bunch of opportunists full of hot air!
 
 
+1 # Third_stone 2012-07-17 18:34
We might need a new definition of small business. This bill was to be for payroll up to 5 million. Even if that is annual, that is a big business. Small is the crew of men with ladders on their truck who are subcontracting labor for big builders who do nothing but finance project and sub out the labor. It is the small plastics fabricator who produces products for a distributor to put their name on. Small business is the firm of 3 engineers who hire a receptionist and a book keeper. This is where most jobs are created. A small business is not likely to even notice a tiny tax cut. Maybe a cut in the insurance rates would help. Maybe credit available from the bank would help.
Maybe the customers getting credit at the bank would help even more. Of course, having men in congress who care would be the best thing of all.
 

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