Congress is back long enough to keep the government funded before ducking out to campaign for the November elections, hopefully leaving top priority issues to be resolved in January and not during a lame duck session.
This week, the House passed H.J. Res. 117, the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through March 27, 2013. When conservatives first agreed to support a six-month CR, it was supposed to be a “clean” CR at the Budget Control Act levels.The one the House considered would actually increase spending by $20 billion and fund objectionable things like ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood.It does, however, include all of the pro-life provisions included in last year’s spending bill.While this is not the legislation we would like to see, it is important to not let political wrangling shut the government down in an election year.
The Senate is expected to vote on the CR next week.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, if the Super Committee failed to cut spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, sequestration would occur. “Sequestration” is mandatory cuts to both domestic and military funding.It was designed as a punishment to ensure that Congress would cut the deficit.Since Congress failed to agree on cuts, sequestration will go into effect in January 2013, and our national defense will be decimated by 43% during a time when our national security is being tested.
In August, Congress passed, and the president signed, The Sequestration Transparency Act,which required the Obama Administration to send Congress a report within 30 days detailing how it would implement sequestration. President Obama’s report was a week late, reaffirming his lack of seriousness on this crucial issue.
This week, the House passed legislation that would repeal the looming sequester upon enactment of other legislation to replace the automatic cuts with equal reductions elsewhere in the budget.This legislation, itself, does not repeal sequestration. However, it does provide a solution to shut down the devastating policies in sequestration.
On January 1, 2013, America will face the largest tax increase in its history.On that date, the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will expire, hitting families and small businesses hard.Families will face higher personal income tax rates, the marriage penalty will kick in (narrower tax brackets for married couples), the child tax credit will be cut in half, the adoption tax credit will be lowered, the standard deduction for married couples will no longer be doubled, student loan deduction tax will be disallowed for certain families, charitable contributions from IRA’s will be disallowed, and the top rate for the death tax will jump to 55%.
At the same time, new ObamaCare taxes will be unleashed.There will be a new 2.3% excise tax on gross sales for medical devices.There will be a hike in the Medicare payroll tax.There will be a cap on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) that unfairly hurts families that have special needs children.
The House has passed a proposal that would cut taxes for all American families and businesses and would not further impact our stumbling economy.The Senate-passed proposal would only protect some families and businesses.