What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, General : Title:S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), Conrad of North Dakota motion to instruct conferees to allow for the extension of certain tax cuts/On the motion
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Title:S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), Conrad of North Dakota motion to instruct conferees to allow for the extension of certain tax cuts/On the motion
senate Roll Call 160     May 09, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
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This vote was on an amendment by Kent Conrad, D-N.D., instructing conferees on the fiscal 2008 budget resolution to insist that the final measure allow certain expiring tax cuts to be extended, including a child tax credit, the adoption tax credit and others, as long as doing so would not increase the deficit between fiscal 2007 and 2012. It would stipulate that additional revenues needed to meet these goals should be made up by "closing the tax gap, shutting down abusive tax shelters, addressing offshore tax havens."

These "motions to instruct" are intended to provide guidance to the conferees on a bill (conferees are members of the House and Senate who meet to hammer out the two chambers' differences on legislation). Motions to instruct are not binding on conferees, and as such mostly serve as a platform from which lawmakers can espouse points of view on a range of topics, or to put the majority of the chamber on record as endorsing an idea that bears on the conference.

The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress' budget priorities in fiscal 2008. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

"We provide for all of the middle-class tax relief. We provide for estate tax reform. We provide for the appropriate treatment of combat pay. We provide for the dependent care tax credit, the adoption tax credit. And we say: You can have other tax relief if you pay for it. There is an interesting idea.. Start paying for things around here," Conrad said.

Judd Gregg, R-N.H., argued that the motion to instruct should be defeated because it does not espouse a position that is fiscally responsible. "The practical effect of that is you slow the economy, you contract the economy. This proposal will do that. This proposal increases spending over the period of 5 years by, I think it is $147 billion," Gregg said. "They have to pay for that, so they raise taxes. It is the old approach. I don't know why it is denied by the other side of the aisle. Why don't they simply admit they like to spend money; they like to take tax dollars and spend money? That is what they are going to do, take people's taxes and spend on it their priorities."

By a vote of 51-44, the Senate adopted the amendment. Democrats present voted for the amendment, except Russell Feingold of Wisconsin. Republicans voted against the amendment, with three exceptions: Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine. Thus, the budget resolution went forward including language instructing conferees on the final measure to extend certain expiring tax cuts, including for adoption, children and other items.

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