Washington, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today fulfilled its commitment to middle-class American families — providing $50 billion in alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief to 23 million middle-income families.
H.R. 3996, the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007, will prevent millions of American families from a tax increase under the AMT, while also extending popular tax credits and deductions that expire at the end of the year.
The AMT was originally put into place to ensure that the wealthiest families did not escape paying taxes altogether. However, since it is not indexed for inflation, it has grown to be a problem that now threatens the middle-class. Without today’s bill, working families would be hit with an average tax increase of nearly $2,000.
For six years President Bush and Congressional Republicans enacted AMT patches and charged the bills to future generations, adding more than $100 billion to the national debt. On November 8, 2008, President Bush threatened to veto the House passed bill, and Senate Republicans rubber stamped the President’s fiscal irresponsibility with virtually all of them voting twice against paying for the bill, objecting to closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.
House Democrats tried every possible alternative to adhere to pay–as-you-go budget rules, reversing years of failed Republican policies that have mortgaged our grandchildren’s future with additional foreign-owned debt.
“Providing tax relief without “pay-as-you-go” is not the preferred option,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “But allowing the AMT to eat away at incomes of middle-class families was something that we could not let happen. For the past few years, Congress has passed tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans, and left the rest of us to foot the bill. It’s time to advance tax fairness and promote fiscal responsibility.”