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Democratic majority passes largest tax increase in history

Enzi proposes two small business amendments

March 23, 2007

        

     Washington, D.C. – Taxpayers are facing increased taxes and more years of an unbalanced federal budget, following the passage of a Democratic budget proposal. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., voted against the Senate budget proposal saying it does nothing to offset the deficit and will amount to a $700 billion tax hike over the next five years.

     “The Democrats are doing their level best to beat our country’s steadily rising economy into submission and this tax-increasing budget makes for a big stick,” said Enzi, member of the Budget Committee, Small Business Committee and the Senate’s only accountant. “By not continuing existing tax policies this budget implements a $700 billion tax increase.”     

Small Business Health Insurance

     One of the few positive aspects of this bill, according to Enzi, was the unanimous approval of his bipartisan amendment that lays a financial foundation to support small business health insurance pools. The approved amendment would allow market-based, small business pooling plans to expand the range of affordable group health insurance plans available to the nation’s small businesses and working families.

    “Small businesses and working families have been crying out for help for over 10 years,” Enzi said. “We must answer the call and provide them with the right tools so they can take care of their workers and their families. This amendment recognizes the need to utilize market-based pooling to address rising health care costs, expand access, and improve health care quality.”

     This vote is another step toward paving the way for a health insurance reform bill that would take aim at reducing the rolls of the uninsured – estimated to number as many as 45 million today. Enzi and Senator Ben Nelson, D-Neb., one of the co-sponsors of the amendment, introduced bipartisan small business pooling legislation in the last Congress.

Small Business Unfunded Mandate Protection

     Enzi provided the Senate a chance to protect small businesses when he offered an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution, S. Con. Res. 21. Enzi’s measure would protect small businesses and the private sector by establishing a 60-vote Senate threshold to pass legislation that imposes burdensome, unfunded federal mandates.

    “This amendment fell victim to party politics. I had the votes until the majority leader twisted arms to ensure that his party fell in line and opposed my amendment. Small businesses deserve better than that,” said Enzi, a former small businessman.               

Supplemental Spending

     In an attempt to rein in spending Senator Thomas, R-Wyo., introduced an amendment to the bill that would only allow war-related items to be added in a war supplemental bill.

     Enzi lent his support to the amendment.

     “Not only did Democrats choose to raise taxes, they chose to increase new pork spending by allowing it to be added to an emergency war funding bill,” said Enzi.

       The Senate passed the budget resolution by a vote of 52-47 today. The House is expected to take up its own version of the budget soon.