CBC Chairwoman Lee said:
We’re extremely concerned that the cuts that could be made should this package pass would disproportionately hurt the poor and low-income communities and further erode the safety net. We don’t want to create a situation today that will exacerbate the conditions for Americans who are already hurting. That would be unfair and would be unwise.
The CBC unveiled an alternative tax cut plan that includes:
- A 13-month extension of Emergency Unemployment Insurance Benefits plus additional assistance for the chronically unemployed – those Americans who have been unable to find work for more than 99 weeks.
- A payroll tax holiday or equivalent payment, such as a tax rebate check, with guarantees that Social Security will not be deprived of revenue.
- Targeted tax relief through a 2-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for hardworking middle- and low-income families and extending the enhanced provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
The CBC estimates its plan would cost less than half of President Barack Obama’s $900 billion tax cut compromise.
During an appearance on TV One’s “Washington Watch,” Lee said:
This is going to cost close to a trillion dollars. Now, you know where those cuts are going to come from next year? It’s going to come from initiatives that support the working poor, low-income communities, communities of color. It’s going to go right to the safety net, and so there is no way that the majority of the Congressional Black Caucus could support such a hit on the majority, really, of the American people.
Lee noted the House has already passed legislation that would provide tax relief for the middle class:
We have done our work on behalf of the American people, and in no way, mind you – in no way – should we give billionaires and millionaires tax breaks, and in no way should we allow the deficit to continue to grow, because we know who’s going to pay for it. It’s going to be our communities.
The Senate is expected to vote on the “Reid-McConnell Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010” this afternoon.
MoveOn is organizing a “Phone-in Filibuster” to stop tax cuts for the top two percent. To sign up, go here.