Senate Calendar

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jul 09 2012

Senator Reid: (4:21 PM)
  • Performed Wrap Up --
  • Tomorrow --
    • The Senate will convene at 10:00 AM and Majority Leader Reid will be recognized. The first hour will be equally divided, with the Majority controlling the first 30 minutes and Republicans controlling the second 30 minutes.
    • At 11:30 AM, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session for up to 30 minutes of debate, equally divided, on Executive Calendar #661, John Thomas Fowlkes, Jr., of Tennessee, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.
    • At 12:00 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the nomination.
    • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.
    • At 2:25 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 2237, the Increased Payroll Tax Credit and Bonus Depreciation bill (there will be 10 minutes of debate prior to the vote).
The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00 AM Tuesday, July 10th.

Kyl, Isakson

Increased Payroll Tax Credit and Bonus Depreciation bill (S. 2237)

Jul 09 2012

Senator Kyl: (3:41 PM)
  • Spoke on the Obama economy.
    • SUMMARY "We all know entrepreneurship requires opportunity and private investment, but a burdensome federal government reduces opportunity and it crowds out private investment. Let's take a look at the growth of government under President Obama. Since his inauguration in January, 2009, the federal debt has increased by more than $5 trillion, and it's rapidly approaching $16 trillion in total. Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit has exceeded $1 trillion four years in a row. The highest deficit before President Obama was less than half that amount. How did our deficit and debt skyrocket so quickly? Well, for starters, President Obama's economic policies have resulted in slower GDP growth, which means less tax revenue flowing to the treasury and more Americans requiring government assistance. So government income is down. Second, the president has dramatically increased government spending. Prior to the 2008 fiscal crisis, the 40-year average for federal outlays was less than 21% of our gross domestic product, but under President Obama, spending soared above 25% of the GDP in 2009 and it's remained above 24% since then. This new spending has grown the federal bureaucracy and it has increased the regulatory burden on families and businesses. For example, the president's 2,700-page health spending law created or codified at least 159 new boards, bureaucracies and programs, along with thousands of new pages of government regulations and more than 20 new taxes. A recent Bloomberg News report notes that the president's health care law imposes $813 million in taxes on middle-class families and job creators. According to the Congressional Budget Office. In total, it has imposed $24 billion in new regulatory costs on the private sector and states, as well as almost $59 billion annual appreciating hours on the economy. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law is a similar story. It is still creating countless new rules and its direct compliance costs have already exceeded $7 billion. Indeed, according to the financial services roundtable, Dodd-Frank will force more than 26,000 employees to comply with the law. Other Obama initiatives have failed to pass the Congress but likewise would have expanded the bureaucracy and funneled resources from the private sector to the government. These initiatives include cap-and-trade, the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act and the more recent Paycheck Fairness Act. We need to get back to basics. As Congressman Ryan has said, we need to make it easier for people to employ their right to rise. That means leaving more money in the private sector and reducing the size of the Washington bureaucracy. We can start by stopping tax hikes and bills like Obamacare that suck needed resources out of the economy and give unaccountable regulators immense power With unemployment stuck above 8% now for more than - well, 41 consecutive months and the Obama administration's preference for redistributionist policies, there is real concern that America's culture of aspiration may gradually be replaced by a culture of redistribution. Look at the tax issue. President Obama wants to increase the top marginal income tax rates in order to expand the entitlement state and promote what he calls greater fairness in society. But what about the economic consequences of taking more money from successful people as the economy continues to struggle? The Joint Committee on Taxation has told us that allowing the top two marginal income tax rates to rise from 33% and 35% to 36% and 39.6% respectively will hit 53% of net positive business income, and just under a million business owners overall. Raising marginal tax rates is no way to encourage aspiration or job creation. It certainly imposes a wet blanket on the kind of risk taking that has helped build America. It's merely redistribution under the guise of social justice. The president's approach to investment is also hostile to aspiration and risk taking. He has endorsed raising the top capital gains rate from 15% to 23.8%. He also wants to raise the top rate on dividends to 24.4%. The so-called Buffett tax is yet another method of hiking taxes on investment. All of these taxes on investment reduce the value of the asset by reducing the after-tax return. Our private economy runs on business investment, which is highly sensitive to tax rates, especially on capital gains and dividends."

Senator Isakson: (3:59 PM)
  • Spoke on taxes.
    • SUMMARY "For 22 years, I ran a subchapter-S corporation passes through its revenues to its investors who pay it at the ordinary income tax rate of an individual. $250,000 is not an inordinate number for somebody who have passed through to them in the ownership of a subchapter-S corporation. I passed the money through and pay them back based on the investment they made in the company that I ran. When you raise the tax on the individual rate, then for a sub-S corporation and limited liability corporation or a limited partnership, you have two decisions to make as the runner of that operation. Do you reduce your retained earning investment in your company to maintain the return to your investors at the same level, or do you continue to wind your company down because you can't distribute at the rate you used to distribute? It's very important to understand that whichever decision you make makes a direct negative impact on future hiring in that company. As the leader has said, 53% of all pass-through income becomes the higher tax rate. 53%, over half. That's American small business This is a tax on the one thing we need the most. That's reinvestment of earnings to hire more people to build more businesses in America. This has the exact opposite effect on the middle class that the president described. The second thing I want to point out real quickly is America suffers today economically from the uncertainty of what's going to happen postelection. The president has made a recommendation would extend that uncertainty for another year. The last thing American business needs to have is the uncertainty of when the next shoe is going to drop in terms of taxation on the middle class or any class. So I commend the leader for coming to the story to he will it the story about American business. We are not here to try to shelter the rich. We are here to empower business, have nor employees in the United States of America and empower our economy."

Reid

Opening Remarks

Jul 09 2012

  • Today --
    • The Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 2237, the Increased Payroll Tax Credit and Bonus Depreciation bill.
    • There will be NO ROLL CALL VOTES today.
  • Tuesday, July 10th --
    • At 11:30 AM, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session for up to 30 minutes of debate, equally divided, on Executive Calendar #661, John Thomas Fowlkes, Jr., of Tennessee, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.
    • At 12:00 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the nomination.
    • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.
    • At 2:25 PM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 2237, the Increased Payroll Tax Credit and Bonus Depreciation bill (there will be 10 minutes of debate prior to the vote).

Senator Reid: (2:04 PM)
  • Spoke on Obamacare.
    • SUMMARY "We already know that our colleagues in the house are going to waste much of their short work period refighting very, very old battles. Republicans indicated that they would support the ruling of the Supreme Court. They, in effect, said the Supreme Court's going to decide this matter regarding the affordable health care. Well, they've changed their tune. Mitt Romney has said he would nominate Supreme Court justices just like Justice Roberts. I wonder if he's saying that to his right-wing base today. But now that the court has upheld this landmark health care reform with a majority decision written by Justice Roberts, Republicans refuse to admit the matter is settled. This week the House will vote, this is almost hard to comprehend - for the 31st time to repeal health care reform. They've already voted 30 times. Speaker Boehner said, let's do it again. 31 times. 31 times, taking many, many hours, many, many days that should have been gone - should have been spent toward creating jobs. Congressional Republicans have spent months trying to repeal a law that's already saved lives and made people more safe as they look at health care in this country."
  • Spoke on the Increased Payroll Tax Credit and Bonus Depreciation bill.
    • SUMMARY "While House Republicans hold a political show vote, the Senate will take a different approach. We're going to continue to try to be productive, focus on jobs. While Republicans are stuck in the past, we'll be addressing the most pressing issues facing this nation: creating jobs and securing the economy. Last week's jobs report underscored the fact that Congress must could more to strength addition must do more to strengthen the recovery. So the Senate will immediately consider a package of commonsense tax cuts that will lower the cost of doing business for small business and pave the way for these small businesses to succeed. Our legislation will cut taxes for small firms and invest in new workers and equipment. The Small Business Jobs and Relief Act will provide a 10% tax credit for companies that add up to $5 million to their payroll, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Businesses are eligible for a tax break if they hire new workers or if they raise the wages of hardworking employees already on their payroll. And because the credit is capped at $500,000, it is targeted to benefit small businesses the most. The legislation will also allow companies to write off the entire cost of purchases, such as new equipment. They'll be able to do it in the year the purchases are made instead of writing them off over long periods of time. More than 2 million companies could get a boost to their bottom line, creating hundreds of thousands of more jobs. Proposals like these have garnered Republican support in the past. I hope they'll receive the same bipartisan support again tomorrow. After our weekly caucus meetings tomorrow, the Senate will vote to end a Republican filibuster and begin debate these tax cuts. Democrats can't undertake the work of strengthening our economy alone. We'll need Republican support, which is judge we proposed consensus tax cuts that should pass the Senate overwhelmingly. It was good to see so many reasonable Republicans willing to work with us last month to save college students money, rebuild the nation's infrastructure and protect American farmers. Tomorrow Republicans will have an opportunity to prove they're willing to continue to work with us to create middle-class jobs."

Jul 09 2012

The Senate Convened.

Jul 09 2012

Republican senators continue to focus on creating jobs, lowering the deficit, reducing gas prices, and replacing the Democrats' health care bill with reforms that will actually lower costs.