Last night, the House secured final passage of a comprehensive tax package that will stop the job-killing tax hikes scheduled for January 1st. The legislation, H.R. 4853, received bipartisan support from 277 Republicans and Democrats. The bill now heads to the President to be signed into law.
The legislation is not perfect. It does not extend these tax rates for all Americans permanently, as many of my colleagues and I wanted, and it fails to put an end to the estate tax.
However, the bill does prevent a $3.8 trillion tax increase on working Americans and small businesses for two years. It also makes key changes to the estate tax, reducing it from 55 percent to 35 percent and increasing the exemption amount to $5 million per spouse. Most importantly, the legislation will help provide our nation’s entrepreneurs with the certainty they need to take the first step toward hiring new employees and expanding their businesses.
Make no mistake: temporarily extending the current tax rates will not cure all that ails our economy, but it will put us on the right path to a stable and lasting recovery.