Tester, Baucus Support Tax Plan

By Beacon Staff

Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester voted Wednesday in favor of advancing the tax-cut plan reached between President Barack Obama and Republican leaders. The $858 billion bill, which enjoyed bipartisan support in the Senate and passed 81-19, may receive a final vote Thursday. Following their votes, the senators released these statements:

Baucus: “Today’s vote was a vote for jobs. This bipartisan compromise extends tax breaks to let working families keep more of their hard-earned money, provides estate tax relief for farmers and ranchers and extends tax cuts to support wind-energy jobs in Montana. Now we must continue working together to pass commonsense policies that will move our economy forward and help businesses create jobs.”

Tester: “Today, I voted to extend tax cuts for every single Montanan, and to create jobs across rural America. This may not be the bill I would have written—but the decision between raising taxes on hardworking Montana families in an already-tough economy, or investing in private sector job growth is a clear choice.

“A vote against this bipartisan bill is a vote against jobs. A vote against this bill is a vote to raise taxes on every Montanan. A vote against this bill is a vote for the biggest tax increase in American history.

Montana Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg has suggested he will oppose the tax package when it reaches the House, saying it should include permanent tax cuts and less deficit spending:

Rehberg: “Congress is poised to guarantee two more years of crippling uncertainty by only passing a temporary tax extension instead of making it permanent. At the same time, they are resurrecting the death tax on small businesses and family farms. Adding insult to injury, the President stuffed this temporary stay of execution with more deficit spending that we simply can’t afford. No one wants taxes to go up on January 1, but that’s not a reason to support bad policies that will increase the deficit and prolong the economic crisis by discouraging job creation. Americans deserve better, and I’m going to work to build better alternatives.”

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