Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate, calling on Republicans to join the President and Democrats in supporting the AMT patch that helps nearly 20 million Americans:
“There has been much talk about the need to pass the Alternative Minimum Tax ‘patch.’ This week, President Bush called upon Congress to pass the patch before the year is up. I couldn’t agree more with the President on this issue.
“Extending the AMT patch will provide tax relief to nearly 20 million Americans, including nearly 100,000 Nevadans. Yet the Republican minority continues to block us from passing this bill and providing this critical tax relief. The House passed an AMT bill four weeks ago. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I offered an agreement for three votes on the AMT: a vote on the House bill, a vote on an amendment offered by Senator Lott to repeal the AMT and an amendment from Senator Baucus. Yet despite the urgency of passing the bill – and despite pleas from President Bush – Senate Republicans blocked these votes from taking place.
“Many Americans must be wondering why Senate Republicans would stand in the way of tax relief. The reason seems to be that they want to use this bill as an opportunity to debate matters that are completely unrelated to the Alternative Minimum Tax. For example, they want to debate the flat tax. I know the flat tax is an issue some Republicans feel strongly about, but they know this is not the time or the place for that debate. And unfortunately, these political games are putting the financial well-being of millions of Americans in real risk.
“I call upon my Republican colleagues to heed the calls of the President and answer the urgent needs of millions of taxpayers by joining with us to pass the AMT patch.”