September 23, 2014

Congressman King may vote against tax deal

Republican Congressman Steve King says he may vote against the tax deal Republican congressional leaders struck with President Obama.

“I lean no on it and I’ve layed out a number of reasons,” King says. “There are a couple of other things that pull against me the other way.” In King’s pro-column are the extension of tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel.

“I’ve been a strong supporter of renewable fuels and this congress needs to understand that if we don’t have a viable first-generation renewable energy in ethanol and biodiesel, then there isn’t going to be any second-generation and that point needs to be made strongly,” King says. “The industry has come out and openly said that they would be willing to phase this down over five years. I think that’s a good plan and it’s one that’s politically workable.”

King also supports another piece of the deal which grants estate tax relief. “I think it’s a moral position that we need to get that resolved before New Year’s so that the tax man isn’t hovering over the death bed, to put it bluntly,” King says. But King has a long list of cons that mean he may vote against the package when it comes up for a vote in the House.

“I just think that, strategically, there’s a better way to go,” King says. King would have preferred a bill that merely dealt with the estate tax issue — and left a decision on income taxes to the next congress. “We have 87 freshmen Republicans who have been called by the American people. They are the replacements for the Pelosi congress and they’re completely disenfranchised in this deal,” King says.

“I think that if we could fix the estate tax problem, we could deal with the balance of this on the other side of New year’s with the new congress and do a lot better than we appear to be doing now.” If the deal clears congress, King predicts tax cuts for the wealthy will be an issue in the 2012 presidential race since the deal Obama struck extends all the Bush-era tax cuts for just two years.

“In a couple of years, the Obama Administration will say, ‘See, we gave you your tax brackets for two years and it didn’t improve the economy. That proved that the 2001 and the ’03 tax brackets didn’t work and we should go back to raising taxes and giving people money and telling them to go spent it,’” King says. King also objects strongly to extending unemployment benefits for 13 months. He calls that part of the package “irresponsible.”