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Owens on 'fiscal cliff' vote
January 2, 2013 - Chris Morris
Here's the press release from U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, on last night's vote to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Last night, the House of Representatives passed legislation, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8), to avert the fiscal cliff and protect middle class tax cuts. Congressman Bill Owens supported the measure with his vote and offered the following statement:
“This legislation represents a promise kept to protect the middle class from increased taxes while ensuring the very wealthy pay their fair share,” said Owens. “While I would have liked to see the bill address spending and a comprehensive farm bill reauthorization, it was clear after weeks of negotiation that the time for talk was over. With middle class tax hikes averted, Congress should now get to work cutting federal spending and addressing the need for good farm policy.”
The legislation passed the House by a vote of 257-167 after being passed in the Senate earlier this week with a strong bipartisan majority. The bill is now cleared for the President’s signature.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) includes many of the proposals Congressman Owens has advocated for throughout the year. Congressman Owens has long supported allowing Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthy, either at the$250,000 or $500,000 level, believing this represented a compromise on the issue. This legislation would extend tax breaks up to the $450,000 level.
Congressman Owens also called throughout the year for a continuation of a $5 million per person ($10 million per couple) exemptionfor the estate tax, supporting family farmers across his congressional district. Legislation passed this week would maintain the $5 million / $10 million exemption. The threshold would also be indexed for inflation to protect farmers in rural areas.
This compromise legislation would delay the sequester of federal spending by two months, something Congressman Owens said would need to be addressed.
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