Metro-East Congressman Jerry Costello votes against tax cut bill - KMOV.com

Metro-East Congressman Jerry Costello votes against tax cut bill

(KMOV) -- The House of Representatives passed the tax cut bill negotiated by President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans early Friday morning.

U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello of the Metro-East voted against the bill.  He issued the following statement regarding H.R. 4853.

"Madame Speaker, I rise this evening in opposition to this legislation that would add almost $1 trillion to our national debt.  As we debate this bill tonight, it is hard to believe that it was just six weeks ago that we had a national election in which the overriding message seemed to be restoring fiscal responsibility to the federal government. 

“As the recommendations of the latest fiscal commission become a distant memory, we are being told that we just have to extend the Bush tax cuts for two more years, even for those making over $1 million annually, and then we will begin paying attention to the deficit and debt.  But as many others before me tonight have rightly pointed out, it is highly unlikely we will let these tax cuts lapse during a presidential election two years from now.  And during that time, we will be told repeatedly by the Republican majority in the House that we don’t have the money to pay for investments in our national infrastructure, the education of our children, and other pressing domestic needs. 

“Perhaps most egregiously, this legislation breaks the social contract at the heart of our Social Security system.  The 2% payroll tax reduction included in this bill will force us to fund Social Security out of general budget funds, and it is unlikely that we will restore this tax over the next two years.  The effect of this loss of $120 billion annually will seriously jeopardize the long-term health of Social Security, which is unacceptable. 

“We are also being told that since the Senate won’t support anything short of a full extension of the Bush tax cuts, this is the best we can do.  Well, I don’t accept that.  Keep us in session through Christmas and New Years if that is what it takes, but let’s put together a bill that extends tax relief for middle income Americans and protects Social Security while not forcing us to borrow another trillion dollars from China.

“We heard a lot of talk in this last election about finally standing up and making the tough choices regarding our budget and debt.  While Great Britain and other nations are facing up to fiscal realities, we are taking the easy way out.  Passing this bill is the easiest thing to do.  I voted against the Bush tax cuts ten years ago when we also had an uncertain economy, and I will vote against this bill tonight.  It is not the popular thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.  Now is the time to pass responsible tax relief.  This bill continues to take us in the opposite direction.”

Here's how Representatives from Missouri and Illinois voted:

MISSOURI

Democrats - Carnahan, Y; Clay, Y; Cleaver, N; Skelton, Y.

Republicans - Akin, Y; Blunt, Y; Emerson, Y; Graves, Y; Luetkemeyer, Y.

ILLINOIS

Democrats - Bean, Y; Costello, N; Davis, Y; Foster, Y; Gutierrez, Y; Halvorson, Y; Hare, Y; Jackson, N; Lipinski, Y; Quigley, Y; Rush, N; Schakowsky, Y.

Republicans - Biggert, Y; Johnson, Y; Manzullo, Y; Roskam, Y; Schock, Y; Shimkus, Y.

Powered by Frankly