The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 22, 2013

Congress: How they voted: GOP budget, Democratic budget, White House tours



This budget reinstated Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy; established a flatter tax code that taxpayers could choose instead of the existing one; repealed estate taxes and indexed the capital-gains rate to inflation.

Additionally, it permanently lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and, for one year, allowed U.S. corporations to repatriate profits from overseas at a 5.25 percent tax rate.

Paul Broun, R-Ga., said: "I'm amazed by the sheer ignorance of the economic disaster that our country is facing....We have to dig deeper and make real, targeted cuts, and there has to be a sense of urgency about it. Only (this) budget actually cuts our baseline spending level...."

Steve Israel, D-N.Y., said the conservatives' budget "is not about compromise, it is about ideology. It is not about common sense and solutions, it is about extremism....Let's find a balanced approach that rests on compromise and supports the middle class."

A yes vote backed the conservatives' budget.

Voting yes: None

Voting no:  Kline, Paulsen 

Not voting:  Walz, McCollum, Ellison, Bachmann, Peterson, Nolan

PROGRESSIVES' 2014 BUDGET: Voting 84 for and 327 against, the House on March 20 defeated a liberal budget sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

With a goal of creating seven million jobs, this budget would immediately inject $544 billion into the economy for purposes such as hiring teachers, building public works and reviving neighborhoods.

Additionally, progressives would reduce military spending to 2006 levels, expand unemployment insurance, repeal the sequester's cuts in non-defense programs, add a public option to the 2010 health law and require lower, negotiated drug prices for Medicare recipients.

This budget would tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income; raise taxes on incomes over $1 million and levy new taxes on carbon and financial transactions;

Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said: "Now is not the time for austerity. It is the time for the government to invest where the private sector won't....With lower unemployment, fewer people need public assistance and more people pay taxes. That's how you shrink the deficit. That's fiscal responsibility."

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