Dear Leader Reid,
The nation’s unemployment level, stuck near 10 percent, is unacceptable to Americans. Senate Republicans have been urging Congress to make private-sector job creation a priority all year. President Obama in his first speech after the November election said “we owe” it to the American people to “focus on those issues that affect their jobs.” He went on to say that Americans “want jobs to come back faster.” Our constituents have repeatedly asked us to focus on creating an environment for private-sector job growth; it is time that our constituents’ priorities become the Senate’s priorities.
For that reason, we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers. With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.
Given our struggling economy, preventing the tax increase and providing economic certainty should be our top priority. Without Congressional action by December 31, all American taxpayers will be hit by an increase in their individual income-tax rates and investment income through the capital gains and dividend rates. If Congress were to adopt the President’s tax proposal to prevent the tax increase for only some Americans, small businesses would be targeted with a job-killing tax increase at the worst possible time. Specifically, more than 750,000 small businesses will see a tax increase, which will affect 50 percent of small-business income and nearly 25 percent of the entire workforce. The death tax rate will also climb from zero percent to 55 percent, which makes it the top concern for America’s small businesses. Republicans and Democrats agree that small businesses create most new jobs, so we ought to be able to agree that raising taxes on small businesses is the wrong remedy in this economy. Finally, Congress still needs to act on the “tax extenders” and the alternative minimum tax “patch,” all of which expired on December 31, 2009.
We look forward to continuing to work with you in a constructive manner to keep the government operating and provide the nation’s small businesses with economic certainty that the job-killing tax hike will be prevented.
SENATE REPUBLICAN COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
This is going to be a bit of a risky move for the Republicans. The left has already leaped onto this claiming that the Republicans are obstructionists. However, I believe that this will ultimately be seen as a bold, but needed move by most of Americans.
The tax cuts and the budget are far more urgent than repealing DADT, START, DREAM Act, or anything else that the Democrats can up with in between now and the end of the year.
Business, especially small businesses, are waiting to hear from Washington. Until they do, they will know how much their taxes will be next month, and they will be holding off on doing any major hiring until they know exactly how much taxes will should be taken out of their hiring budget.
Businesses aren't the only ones that will have their taxes go up in January, if nothing is done. The taxes of ALL Americans will go up in less than a month. Since we're already two months into the fiscal year, the budget is already way past due, too.
Considering that for a bill to pass it must go through the House, Senate, and Congressional Reconciliation before it even gets to the White House, there is only a limited amount of items that can actually be achieved in just three weeks. They won't be able to address them all, no matter how much they say otherwise.
The only reason why they are pushing for the more liberal bills to be passed ahead of the tax or budget bills is because it'll be much harder for them to pass it in a month, when the Republicans gain the House and a few seats in the Senate. If the election results were reversed, and the Democrats would have huge gains, it would be a completely different story. The Democrats would be waiting until January for all of those non-essential bills. They are playing politics and pandering to their base at the expense of our economy and all of our livelihoods.