Mr. Chairman, thank you and let me take this opportunity to publicly congratulate you on your new rank within this Committee. We have always had a good working relationship, and I look forward to this continuing.
You have said your approach will be “collegial but tough.” I think that is exactly what we will have here today as we consider the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act.
Frankly, it is tough to see this bill as either a small business bill or a jobs bill. And, unfortunately, the one area I thought was ripe for bipartisan compromise – pension relief – has been stripped out of the underlying legislation. I know there continues to be some internal debate within the Democrat caucus about how to proceed on pensions, but for the sake of American employers and their workers, this is an area I think we can and should come together on quickly.
As for the bill before us, I have three main concerns:
- One: It raises taxes on employers during a recession – making it tougher for Americans to find needed work.
- Two: Roughly 80 percent of bill is dedicated to local governments. Small governments are not small businesses, and they do not create the kind of private-sector jobs we need.
- And, three: the limited and narrow tax provisions, even if well-intentioned, will not help employers create new jobs.
Under this bill, jobs – American jobs – will be taxed. That is the simple truth and ramification of the so-called Doggett Treaty provision, which accounts for roughly half of $17 billion in tax increases in this bill. This bill also includes permanent tax hikes to pay for temporary tax relief and it represents a net tax increase.
There is never a good time to raise taxes on employers and American workers, but given the continued weakness in the economy, now may be the worst time. Exactly one-week ago, the Department of Labor confirmed that 48 states have lost jobs since the Democrats’ stimulus passed. The Department of Labor has also confirmed that the economy shed 36,000 jobs last month and that a record 16 million Americans are out of work and 11 million are receiving an unemployment check instead of a paycheck.
To raise taxes on employers providing and creating jobs here in America, as the majority does in this bill, would only further delay recovery and add to the economic hardship millions of families are already facing.
Mr. Chairman, we share a desire to help get the economy kick-started. So while we applaud your effort in holding this mark-up, we have real concerns with the solutions you have put forward.
For those and other reasons we will seek to amend the bill before us in ways we think would help small businesses grow and create jobs again.
With that, I yield back.