Rep. Greg Walden on his fiscal cliff vote

Greg Walden votes to permanently extend tax relief for Oregon families and small businesses

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) issued the following statement on House passage of a plan to prevent a tax increase for 99 percent of taxpayers and stop the government from going over the fiscal cliff:

“Tonight the House passed a plan to permanently extend tax relief for Oregon families and small businesses and to stop our government from going over the fiscal cliff. The plan isn’t perfect, but I would not sit by as taxes go up on all Americans, including more than $3,000 this year for the average Oregon family. I didn’t come to Washington to see taxes go up on middle income Americans, and we acted to stop that permanently.

“The plan passed tonight locks into place current tax rates for middle class families as our economy continues to struggle. It permanently holds down the death tax for small business owners, farmers, and ranchers. It permanently patches the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and extends the higher child tax credit. The plan does away with a new entitlement program created in Obamacare, and stops the President from giving members of Congress a pay increase as the President proposed. Finally, it extends the existing farm bill for one year as Congress works on a new long-term farm bill.”

“Now that tax relief has been extended, it’s time for the President to work with Congress to get our nation’s fiscal house in order by addressing the underlying problem, which is spending. The national debt is currently $16 trillion and climbing, over $50,000 for every American. We must cut spending and grow our economy to avoid passing on an even bigger debt burden to our children and grandchildren.”


Summary of the American Taxpayer Relief Act

Tax Policy

·        Marginal rates: Permanent extension of current policy up to $400,000 for singles, $450,000 for married couples.

·        Capital Gains & Dividends: Makes permanent 15% top capital gains and dividends rate up to $400,000 for singles, $450,000 for married couples; 20% rate for both above that threshold.

·        Death Tax: Permanent extension of current policy with a $5 million exemption indexed for inflation and a 40% top rate.

·        Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT):Permanently indexes the AMT for inflation.


Spending Policy

·        Debt limit: No increase in the debt limit.

·        “Sequester” arbitrary spending cuts: sequester is turned off for two months and paid for by a combination of other spending cuts and revenue increases.

·        CLASS Act: Repeals a flawed new entitlement program created in Obamacare which even the Obama Administration admitted was “totally unsustainable” after the bill was rushed to passage.

·        Doc Fix: One year extension of current policy that stops a drastic cut to Medicare payments for health care providers.

·        Unemployment insurance: 1 year extension of current extended weeks of UI.

·        Farm Bill: Provides for a one year extension of the 2008 farm bill at no additional cost to the taxpayer.