Both the House and Senate Budget Committees have finalized the markup of budget proposals that are similar to the administration budget proposal.
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The Senate version contains tax relief of $825 billion over five years, including an extension of the 2001 and 2003 income tax cuts for taxpayers making under $250,000 a year; AMT relief; estate tax reform; and business tax relief and extenders. The plan projects $14.1 trillion in revenue. It assumes the enactment of loophole closers and enforcement efforts to help close the tax gap, address offshore tax havens, and shut down abusive tax shelters. None of the proposals affecting upper-income taxpayers would go into effect until 2011, when the economy is projected to be in recovery.
The House version will generate $613.2 billion in tax relief over five years and projects $14.3 trillion in revenue. It extends the middle-income tax cuts adopted in 2001 and 2003; the 10 percent bracket, the child tax credit, and marital penalty relief. It indexes the AMT, and extends estate tax exemptions at the 2009 levels, while indexing the exemptions for future years.
“Reducing the deficit is key,” said House budget chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., “but our budget is not so committed to deficit reduction that it overrides other needs.”
The resolution, like the administration’s budget, “puts defense spending on a more sustainable path, with an increase of 4 percent. It also supports initiatives to make the economy more productive - in health care for the millions uninsured; in alternative energies to reduce dependence on foreign oil and the depletion of the environment; and in education and Pell Grants in particular, expanding access to college for more people.”
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and ranking Republican on the Committee, had a different view.
“After insisting their budget was different from the president’s — with less spending, smaller deficits, and lower debt — majority members conceded during markup that the two budgets were really the same,” he said. “It is the third and final wave of government expansion, building on the New Deal of the 1930s and the Great Society of the 1960s.”