Ignoring the will of the American people, House Majority Leaders voted yesterday to raise taxes for small businesses on January 1st. The legislation, H.R. 4853, passed the House despite widespread opposition from 168 Republicans and 20 Democrats.
This bill exemplifies the kinds of thoughtless polices and political game-playing that have dragged down our economic recovery and stalled job creation. For example, thousands of business owners have been unable to plan for holiday hiring or prepare to add jobs in 2011 due to constant threats of higher taxes and more regulations. As a result, the Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November and 15 million Americans remained unable to find work.
The American people thought they sent a clear message on November 2nd that they are sick and tired of Washington’s unsustainable economic policies. It is a sad fact that this trend of high unemployment and sluggish job creation is almost certain to continue until Congress enacts common sense policies that will provide small businesses and families with some much needed certainty.
This week, the Senate passed its version of food safety legislation. Concerns remain about the taxes and fees on manufacturers included in the bill, as well as the legislations’ impact on small farms and businesses However, the Senate bill includes provisions that exempt some small businesses from certain costly food safety plans required of larger companies. Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Max Baucus (D-MT) each offered amendments to the Senate food safety legislation that would repeal the health care law’s 1099 reporting mandate for small businesses. Both amendments were rejected. The House is expected to consider food safety legislation next week.
On Wednesday, the House passed H.J.Res 101, a bill to make further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2011. Presently, government operations are being temporarily funded at FY 2010 levels under H.R. 3081, the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 (P.L. 111-242). H.J. Res 101 is a Continuing Resolution that extends the funding provided under P.L. 111-242 through December 18, 2010 while the House and Senate continue to work on long term appropriations legislation.
On Thursday, the House approved legislation to extend some of the provisions contained in the 2001 and 2003 tax relief packages. H.R. 4853 would permanently extend the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and a two year alternative minimum tax [AMT] patch. However, the bill received bipartisan opposition due to its failure to extend critical tax relief provisions for thousands of small businesses and families. The legislation passed the House despite 168 Republicans and 20 Democrats voting against it.