John Cornyn on Taxes

Last Updated : Nov 09, 2010

Summary

Since coming into office, Senator Cornyn has been a proponent of lower taxes, and reform to the tax system. He has always claimed to support lowering the deficit and cutting spending, but has become especially vocal of those goals after the Democrats took over Congress and President Obama was elected.

Although not in office for the 2001 legislation, Senator Cornyn voted for the 2003 portion of what is now known as the "Bush tax cuts". He has advocated for the elimination of individual taxes which were temporarily addressed in those cuts, such as the death tax. In 2006 he called for the permanent repeal of the death tax and stated that the death tax discourages small businesses and farmers and ranchers from saving and it also hinders their ability to operate from generation to generation. Starting in 2007, Senator Cornyn was vocal in the need to extend the cuts stating that while comprehensive tax reform may not be right around the corner, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on families and entrepreneurs and let the tax relief Congress passed in 2001 and 2003 expire. He stated that these reforms had led to real savings for millions of Texas taxpayers. He cited the individual benefits of each tax cut, such as the AMT.

In addition to supporting tax cuts, Senator Cornyn has also been an advocate for the Fair Tax. The Fair tax would replace the income tax and other taxes with a national sales tax. He stated that the US needs to get control of the reins of our runaway federal income tax system. In addition to vocal support, Senator Cornyn has also cosponsored legislation to enact the Fair Tax.

Senator Cornyn has been a supporter of fiscal responsibility, reduced spending, and accountability in spending. In 2006, he sponsored legislation to create an internet database of federal spending. In 2010, Senator Cornyn stated his opposition to the deficit level of the 2010 budget and stated that "coupled with this month’s stagnant job numbers, this trillion-dollar plus budget shortfall should be a wakeup call to President Obama and Majority Leader Reid that reckless, inside-the-beltway spending and bigger government are never the recipe for economic prosperity." That same year, Senator Cornyn warned about the dangers of foreign countries owning our debt and introduced legislation to create more transparency in just who owned the debt.

In 2010, Senator Cornyn introduced an amendment to require a supermajority of 60 votes to raise taxes. The move failed, but was meant to require reductions in spending instead of tax increases. That same year, Senator Cornyn stated his opposition to tax measures proposed by the Obama administration to tax profits made overseas prior to their return to the US. He called the move dangerous. 

 

Support for Repeal of the Death Tax

In June of 2006, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his opposition to the Death Tax and his support for the repeal of the tax.

 

Internet Database of Federal Spending

In September of 2006, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his support for legislation that would create an internet database of federal spending.

 

Opposition to Federal Unemployment Tax

In January of of 2007, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his belief that the Federal Unemployment Tax should be repealed.

 

Opposition to Obama Deficits

In October of 2010, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his opposition to the level of deficits accruing under President Obama.

In September of 2009, Senator Cornyn released a press statement declaring that when the deficit hole is as large as it's current size, the government should stop digging. 

 

 

The Fair Tax

In March of 2007, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his support for the fair tax system.

 

Support for Extension of the Bush Tax Cuts

In April of 2007, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting both his support for the simplification of the tax code and the extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts which are commonly called the "Bush tax cuts".

In May of 2007, Senator Cornyn released another statement reasserting his belief that the Bush tax cuts should be permanent. 

In August of 2007, Senator Cornyn released another press statement noting that the tax cuts should be made permanent.

In September of 2010, Senator Cornyn introduced the Tax Hike Prevention Act to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. He called the failure to extend these provisions the largest tax hike in the nation's history.

 

Super-Majority for Tax Increases

In May of 2007, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting an amendment he was putting forth to require a supermajority to raise the level of taxation. He stated that this would slow down the rate of tax increases.

 

The Dangers of Foreign Debt Holders

In June of 2010, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting the dangers of foreign powers owning so much of the US debt.

 

Taxing Overseas Profits is Dangerous

 

Official Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Continue Bush Tax Cuts for all Except top Earners

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts with the exception of those earning more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. The measure passed 51-48 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. John Cornyn voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

John Cornyn voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Continue All Bush Tax Cuts

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on an amendment to legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts. The measure failed 45-54 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. John Cornyn voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

John Cornyn voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

The Alternative Minimum Tax

The alternative minimum tax was created to ensure that a few of the richest Americans did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. It was never intended to be a method of taxing the general population. Unfortunately, the amount that a person earns before the tax goes into effect was not indexed to inflation. Therefore, each year Congress must enact a "fix" to adjust the amount. Occasionally, a larger increase is proposed than inflation adjustment. Income from the tax was accounted for in the 2009 budget. According to the rules of PAYGO (Pay As You Go), a decrease in the amount of money taken in must be offset by a reduction in spending. This amendment sought to exempt the AMT from that rule, to more accurately reflect the purpose of the tax. The amendment failed with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it in a 47-51 vote. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

The Estate Tax

The estate tax is a tax levied on the assets or estates of wealthy individuals when they pass away. The tax collects a percentage of the estates which are valued above a given amount. This amendment sought to raise the value of the estates affected from $1 Million to $5 Million, and to lower the maximum rate at which the estate can be taxed from 45% to 35%. The argument for the change was that many small farms now fell under this tax. The opposition stated that not enough revenue would be collected is the amount was raised, as the tax would affect only 0.2% of estates instead of 0.5% under the current limits. The amendment failed in a 50-50 vote with most Republicans supporting the amendment and most Democrats opposing it. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

The Estate Tax

In 2007, an amendment was proposed which would have raised the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%. This amendment would have also made the 2006 extended rates for capital gains and dividends permanent. The amendment was supported by most Republicans and opposed by most Democrats and failed in a 47-51 vote. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Full Repeal of AMT

In 2007, congress made and attempt to repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT) completely. The legislation was defeated in a 44-53 vote with most Republicans supporting the legislation and most Democrats opposing it. John Cornyn voted to repeal the AMT.

John Cornyn voted to repeal the AMT.

Pension Protection Act of 2006

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 addressed regulations governing employer-sponsored pensions and acted to make the portions of the 2001 act which allowed higher contributions to IRAs. with the support of both parties. The bill got wide support from both parties and passed 93-5. John Cornyn voted against the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

John Cornyn voted against the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act

In 2006, the senate voted on theEstate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act. This bill would have increased the estate tax exclusion to $5,000,000, effective 2015, and repealed the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes. It would also have lowered the estate tax rate to equal the current long-term capital gains tax rate for taxable estates up to $25 million and repealed the estate tax deduction paid to states. The bill failed to pass in a 56-42 vote. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Death Tax Repeal Permanancy Act

In 2006, the Senate voted on legislation that would have permanantly repealed the "Death" or Estate Tax. The legislation was rejected on a 57-41 vote. Most Republicans supported the legislation and most Democrats opposed it. John Cornyn voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

John Cornyn voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 extended previously lowered dividend income and capital gains through 2010, and made an increase to the AMT exemption. It also eliminated income restrictions on high-income taxpayers for converting traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to Roth IRAs. Most Republicans supported the legislation and about 1/3 of teh Democrats supported it. The bill passed in a 66-31 vote. with the support of both parties. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

American Jobs Creation Act of 2004

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 allowed individuals to claim a deduction for state and local sales taxes paid, in lieu of deducting state income taxes. It also increased tax credits for business investment abroad, and temporarily increased the expensing provisions for corporations. The bill passed 69-13 '); echo('with the support of both parties. John Cornyn voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004

The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 extended the 10 percent bracket on income tax created in the 2001 legislation, doubled the child tax credit, extended the previous AMT exemption and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The legislation was widely supported and passed 92-3. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003

In the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief reconciliation Act of 2003 tax rates on realized capital gains received by individual shareholders were reduced from 10 percent (for taxpayers in tax brackets where the ordinary income tax rate was 15 percent or below) and 20 percent (for all other brackets) to 5 percent and 15 percent, respectively, through 2007 and to 0 and 15 percent in 2008. It also adjusted the AMT exemption limit, expanded the child tax credit, and accelerated some of the earlier aspects of the previous laws. The conference report was agreed to in a 50-50 vote with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 296; The Fair Tax - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2011, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2013. Terminates the sales tax imposed by this Act if the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this Act.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1025; The Fair Tax Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2009, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes and for state government functions. Allows families a sales tax rebate.Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY 2011. Establishes in the Department of the Treasury: (1) an Excise Tax Bureau to administer excise taxes not administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and (2) a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 25; Fair Tax Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23 percent in 2007, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes and for State government functions. Sets forth rules relating to: (1) the collection and remittance of the sales tax; and (2) credits and refunds. Allows families a sales tax rebate. Grants States the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 11; Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Renders inapplicable the general terminating date (i.e., December 31, 2012) of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 to provisions of that Act that eliminate the tax effect known as the marriage penalty in the standard tax deduction, the 15% income tax bracket, and the earned income tax credit.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 74; Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Makes permanent provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 that eliminate the marriage penalty in the standard deduction, the 15-percent tax bracket, and the earned income tax credit.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 296; Fair Tax Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Redesignates the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as the Internal Revenue Code of 2009. Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2011, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Sets forth rules relating to: (1) the collection and remittance of the sales tax; and (2) credits and refunds. Allows a monthly sales tax rebate for families meeting certain size and income requirements.Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Sets forth administrative provisions relating to: (1) the filing of monthly reports and payments of tax; (2) accounting methods; (3) registration of sellers of goods and services responsible for reporting sales; (4) penalties for noncompliance; and (5) collections, appeals, and taxpayer rights. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to allocate sales tax revenues among: (1) the general revenue; (2) the old-age and survivors insurance trust fund; (3) the disability insurance trust fund; (4) the hospital insurance trust fund; and (5) the federal supplementary medical insurance trust fund. Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2013.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3773; Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Repeals the general terminating date (i.e., December 31, 2010) applicable to tax relief provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), thus making such provisions permanent. Repeals the provision of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 terminating the reductions in tax rates for capital gains and dividends, thus making such reductions permanent. Repeals provisions of EGTRRA repealing the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes after 2009, thus restoring such taxes, subject to the amendments made by this Act. Restores the step-up in basis tax treatment of inherited estate assets. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) provide for annual increases in the alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount during the period of 2010 through 2020; (2) expand offsets against the AMT for certain nonrefundable tax credits; (3) retain marriage penalty relief provisions and the increased child tax credit; (4) revise the estate tax by imposing a permanent maximum estate tax rate of 35% and allowing a permanent estate tax exclusion amount of $5 million (adjusted annually for inflation) after 2009; and (5) allow a surviving spouse to increase the estate tax exclusion amount by the unused exclusion amount of his or her deceased spouse. Allows the executor of any estate of a decedent dying in 2010 to elect to apply existing provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 without regard to specified provisions of this Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 567; A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates - Cosponsor

Repeals the termination date in the Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 for provisions reducing individual tax rates on capital gains and dividend income.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 502; Capital Gains Rates - Cosponsor

A bill to repeal the sunset on the reduction of capital gains rates for individuals and on the taxation of dividends of individuals at capital gains rates.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 988; Jobs Protection and Estate Tax Reform Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to accelerate the repeal of the tax on estates and generation-skipping transfers to January 1, 2005, and to make such repeal permanent.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 420; Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Provides that the sunset provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (i.e., December 31, 2010) shall not apply to the repeal of the Federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax (thus making such repeal permanent).

Session-109; Bill Number-S 78; Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Makes permanent provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 which eliminate the marriage penalty in the standard deduction, the 15-percent tax bracket, and the earned income tax credit.

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