The U.S. Senate is expected to pass that much-debated bill later today to preserve the so-called Bush era tax cuts, though it may face at least a few changes in the House. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the legislation is the product of compromise and is far from perfect, but it should accomplish a big goal.
“Tonight, the Senate will vote for the legislation that’s needed for a simple rule of economics and that rule is that you should not increase taxes during a recession,” Grassley says. “With nearly 10% unemployment, we’re still obviously in a recession.” The bill was the result of negotiations between Congressional Republicans and President Obama, though Grassley notes the president had to go back on a campaign promise to provide the tax cuts across the board, even to the very wealthy.
Grassley says, “He doesn’t view it as ideal and quite frankly, few Republicans view it as ideal, but for all of us here, finding common ground is kind of a balancing act.” He says the tax hike prevention agreement strikes “the right balance for the vast majority of us,” adding, “We want to stay true to our ideals and we also want to deliver practical results to our constituents.” Grassley says the trend in the nation’s jobless rate is heading in the wrong direction and says, “The economy is clearly telling Congress: Handle with extreme care.”
“I support this bill because it prevents a tax increase, a tax increase you shouldn’t have during a recession,” Grassley says. “Obviously, you shouldn’t have the biggest tax increase in the history of the country without a vote of Congress and that’s what would happen on December 31st if we do nothing.”
In a statement on the Senate floor late Monday, Grassley said: “We have known about these looming tax hikes for a decade now. We should have acted many years ago. Now, we have only 19 days to go before the tax hikes take effect. We are down to the wire and need to act.”