As the House of Representatives passed a Republican-sponsored child tax credit bill Thursday,Alabama Reps. Spencer Bachus,R,and Artur Davis,D,illustrated how contentious the issue has become.
Bachus,during the pre-vote debate,again pronounced child tax credits for lower income families a form of welfare.
Davis,meanwhile,said the $82 billion bill is doomed to fail once it reaches the Senate because the cost is too great,a possibility Davis said Republicans fully understand.
“It's a poison pill,” said Davis whose Democratic colleagues are concerned that the tax cut will further increase the deficit.
Bachus reiterated his distaste for labeling payouts to lower-income families who do not pay income taxes as refunds or credits.
“Let's call it what it is,” Bachus said. “It's welfare. When you take money away from some American taxpayers and give it to others,that's welfare.”
Artur co-sponsored a bill in the House similar to the $3.5 billion child tax credit bill approved by the Senate last week and supported by President Bush. Republicans blocked that bill.
House Republicans argued that the Senate-approved bill only provides political gain because it expires by the next congressional elections.
The Republican-sponsored bill approved Thursday extends the $1,000 per child credit for families in all economic brackets through 2010,a measure Davis and other Democrats said the Senate will refuse.
“If Republicans were serious about passing this tax bill for working families,they could have done it today,” Davis said. “A lot of families are gonna be left out,including many families in my district.”
Davis said this debate underscores the differences between the two parties more than any issue he's encountered in his first four months in Congress.
Bachus,visibly heated during a speech on the House floor,said,“In the last tax cut we gave Americans back their own money.” Now Bachus said he believes “we're turning our tax code into a welfare system.”
At one point in the debate,16 Democrats lined up in front of the speaker’s podium,each holding up one number or comma to represent the dollar amount of the deficit under President Bush's tax-cut laden budget.
The presiding officer ordered the Democrats to sit down,calling their action a violation of House rules.