disguises vote that left thousands of families
DC - Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R, NM, 1st
CD) voted to support a bill providing tax credits
for families with incomes between $10,000 and
$150,000. This bill was to supplement an existing
law providing tax credits for families with incomes
between $27,000 and $110,000. The bill Wilson
supported expanded coverage to the lowest income
earners, those between $10,000 and $27,000, but
it also include controversial tax credits for
upper income families, those with incomes between
$110,000 to $150,000.
"On its face such a bill would seem like
a great thing for New Mexicans," said Travis
Green, spokesman for New Mexicans for Political
Accountability. "However, the bill had a
number of problems, not the least of which was
the tax credits for families with incomes between
$110,000 and $150,000 was unfunded." This
meant that there was no provision in the budget
bill to support that portion of the tax credits.
"Not only is this irresponsible fiscal management,
but it is deception at its very worst," said
Green. By voting for this bill, Wilson could come
back to New Mexico touting that she supported
tax credits for the poor, knowing full well that
99% of the bill was unfunded ($78 of $80 billion
in tax credits), and wouldn't make it through
conference committee. Even worse, Wilson voted
for it knowing that a good alternative was available.
A similar bill garnering bipartisan support in
the Senate, and praised by both Senator Pete Domenici
(R, NM) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D, NM), focused
on tax credits for families with incomes between
$10,000 and $27,000, leaving off the highest categories
of wage earners. The Senate bill was both fully
funded, and would have helped scores of New Mexico
families in the first Congressional District.
Rather, than do what was right for New Mexico
and what was right for families in her district,
Wilson rejected the Senate bill, and did what
was most politically expedient for her.
Pete Domenici advocated for the Senate version
that was rejected by Wilson. "I support this
bill because it will bring more benefits to New
Mexico. The tax credit that we already passed
will benefit more than 160,000 households, and
the measure we passed today could add another
100,000 to that total," Domenici said. "These
tax credits are aimed at putting more money into
the pockets of those who are working hard to raise
their children. The expanded program will give
lower-income families, who don't generally have
federal income tax liability, an opportunity to
benefit from this program."
Wilson voted to stop the Senate legislation despite
pleas from Republicans who said her vote would
hurt low-income families, "which is especially
hurtful to New Mexico's first congressional district"
said Green. Republican Senators, the White House,
and moderate House Republicans said that Wilson's
vote would kill the family support package.
"Wilson's vote was a slap in the face of
her constituents," said Green. "Her
bill was unnecessary, fiscally irresponsible,
and was contrary to the interests of this state."
Travis Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
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