Kay Bailey Hutchison on Taxes

Last Updated : Nov 03, 2010

Summary

Senator Hutchison is a strong supporter of the Bush tax cuts and efforts to make them permanent. She has authored numerous articles and press statements crediting the reductions in capital gains taxes, elimination of the death tax, and reductions to the overall tax rates with the economic growth between 2001 and 2008. Among the Bush tax cuts, Senator Hutchison has been vocal in her efforts to permanently remove the marriage penalty, stating that nothing should negatively affect the institution of marriage. 

In terms of spending, Senator Hutchison has stated that she supports efforts to reach a balanced budget and she supports a line item veto and earmark reform to achieve this objective. However, she has stopped short of an earmark moratorium called for by other Republicans. She stated in 2007 that the growth from the Bush tax cuts had put the US on a trajectory towards a balanced budget. She has been critical of the levels of spending under the Obama administration and especially critical of the idea that a nation can spend its way into prosperity. She has stated that America is in a fiscal hole and that the politicians need to stop digging.

 

Support for the Bush Tax Cuts

In January of 2008, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her support of the Bush tax cuts and their positive effect on the economy.

In January of 2009, Senator Hutchison published a capital comment article where she discussed the need for fiscal responsibility and her support for extending the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.

In April of that year, Senator Hutchison released another article noting her belief that tax relief spurs job growth and that the Bush tax cuts should be made permanent.

In September of 2010, Senator Hutchison released another article noting that the Democrats were spending too much money and that they intended to pay for this spending with increased taxes by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.

 

Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007

In January of 2007, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor about the state of the economy. She stated that the lowered taxes had led to the low unemployment rate. In the speech, Senator Hutchison noted her support for earmark reform, and a line item veto to help balance the budget. She also stated that congress had put the nation on a course to have a balanced budget.

 

Earmark Moratorium

In March of 2010, Senator Hutchison issued a press statement noting her views on an earmark moratorium which was put forth by leading Republicans.

 

The 2010 Budget

In February of 2010, Senator Hutchison issued a press statement noting her opposition to the Democratic budget for 2010. 

 

Opposition to the Marriage Penalty

In April of 2009, Senator Hutchison sponsored an amendment which established a point of order against any legislation that would impose or increase a marriage penalty. In her press statement on the matter, she noted her opposition to anything which negatively affects marriage.

 

On Extending the Bush Tax Cuts

In September of 2010, Senator Hutchison appeared on Fox News to discuss the possibility of expanding the "Bush tax cuts".

 

On Extended Spending Versus Debt

In May of 2010, Senator Hutchison appeared on Fox News and spoke about her opposition to more stimulus spending and other subsidies while the money goes toward the debt.

 

Opposition to Obama Deficits

In May of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her opposition to the level of debt being accrued during the Obama administration.

 

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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison 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%.

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

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted to repeal the AMT.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002

The main provision of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 was to create a bonus depreciation. This bonus depreciation allowed firms to claim extra deductions for depreciation of a long-term physical capital investment during the early years. This reduces corporate profits and therefore taxes. The act got wide support from both parties and passed 85-9. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

The first piece of legislation was passed in 2001 as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 The act was especially sweeping. Its two most prominent changes were a phased-in reduction in income tax rates and a reduction and eventual repeal (at the beginning of 2010) of the estate tax. It also provided a wide range of tax breaks for education, families with children, married couples, and contributions to certain kinds of savings accounts. While all republicans voted in favor of this legislation, most democrats opposed it. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

The Marriage Penalty

In 2001, an amendment was put forth to expand the 15% tax bracket and eliminate the "marriage penalty". The offset would be accounted for by reducing the marginal tax rate reductions for the top two rate brackets. The amendment was supported by most of the Democrats and opposed by most of the Republicans. The amendment failed in a 44-56 vote. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the amendment to end the marriage penalty.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the amendment to end the marriage penalty.

Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000

In 2000, the senate attempted to pass the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000. This act would have ended the marriage penalty by adjusting the 15% tax bracket accordingly. Most Republicans supported the act and most Democrats opposed it. The act passed the senate in a vote. The bill was eventually vetoed by the President. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

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

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 - Prime Sponsor

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 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 3047; Tax Code Termination Act - Cosponsor

Terminates the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for taxable years beginning after 2013, except provisions of such Code relating to social security taxation (i.e., taxes on wage, self-employment, and railroad retirement income). Establishes within the legislative branch a National Commission on Tax Reform and Simplification. Directs the Commission to: (1) review the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and its impact on the economy, families, and the workforce: (2) determine whether the current income tax system should be replaced with a flat tax, a national sales tax, or another system, or can be simplified; and (3) submit a report to Congress on the results of its review, with recommendations for fundamental reform and simplification of the Code. Requires congressional approval of a new federal tax system no later than July 4, 2013, or a vote of Congress to reauthorize the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

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 - Prime Sponsor

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.

Session-105; Bill Number-S J Res 9; Constitutional Amendment - Raising Taxes - Cosponsor

Requires a two-thirds vote of each House of the Congress in order to pass any bill levying a new tax or increasing the rate or base of any tax. Allows the Congress to waive that requirement during war or certain military conflict. Requires all votes under this Amendment to be by yeas and nays and the names of persons voting for and against to be entered in the Journal of each House.

Session-105; Bill Number-S 75; Family Heritage Preservation Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the estate tax, gift tax, and tax on generation-skipping transfers.

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