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Washington, D.C.--The U.S. Senate passed legislation today that would make it possible for taxpayers to keep more of what they earn and send less to the IRS, $792 billion less over the next 10 years. The bipartisan vote was 57-43. The tax relief package includes elimination of the marriage penalty tax, the death tax and it shrinks the percentage of income every taxpayer pays from 15 percent rate to 14 percent and expands the new 14 percent tax bracket. The House passed a similar tax package earlier this month. The president has threatened to veto the tax relief plans.

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. made the following statement:

"This has been a debate about letting people keep more of their money or bringing it to Washington and redistributing it through the thousands of federal programs that benefit select groups of people.

"This tax package is too complex for my taste, but I do want tax relief for Americans and so I voted for this bill that has the support of both Democrats and Republicans.

"This tax cut plan does not harm efforts to save Social Security and Medicare. I worry that people are being duped by the president. He says we are not saving Social Security or preserving Medicare. There is proposed legislation that details exactly how we can save Social Security, but the president won't agree to a lock box where we ensure that Social Security money is spent only for Social Security.

"The president also claims that this tax bill would hurt efforts to pay off the national debt. It wouldn't. There is a way we can pay off the debt and provide some tax relief. I've cosponsored a bill with Senator Allard that sets forth a payment plan where we can have the national debt paid off in 30 years just like a house mortgage, but the president won't support that either. The president's proposed budget actually raises taxes by $46 billion, so naturally he opposes this tax plan that would give him less to spend on new government programs and you more to spend.

"You want a college education for your kids, healthcare for your family and security in your retirement. It's not easy for you to provide these things for yourself when the federal government takes a 40 percent bite out of your paycheck. It's hard to believe there is such huge opposition to the federal government taking a smaller bite."