As the House voted 314-112 today to repeal a part of last year’s health care reform requiring businesses to report far more of their business transactions to the Internal Revenue Service, an East Bay lawmaker tried to attach an amendment providing a middle-class tax cut paid for by closing tax loopholes exploited by oil and gas companies.
“As a former small business owner, I know firsthand what it’s like to make ends meet when times are tough,” Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, said in a news release. “It’s more important than ever now that we provide small businesses with the tools to succeed. I support repealing the 1099 provision, but we can improve the Republican proposal and help middle class families.”
“That’s why I offered an alternative,” he continued. “My amendment repeals the 1099 requirement and also provides a middle class tax cut paid for by closing tax loopholes exploited by big oil and gas companies. Oil companies have earned record profits over the last few years, and it’s just not right for them to take advantage of special loopholes when the middle class is struggling.”
Consideration of McNerney’s amendment was blocked by a vote of 243 to 181; all Bay Area House members – except Jackie Speier, who didn’t vote – voted in favor of considering his amendment.
Last year’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act included a provision requiring corporations that aren’t tax-exempt to report to the IRS all payments of $600 or more. This was meant to raise about $21.9 billion more in tax revenue over the next decade, to help pay other parts of the health-care reform bill.
H.R. 4, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act to would repeal the 1099 reporting requirement, was offered by House Republicans. Although Democrats and President Barack Obama agree the provision should be repealed, some opposed this bill because it makes up for the lost money by accelerating repayment of health insurance subsidies for families above certain income thresholds – something they say would hurt working, middle-class families. McNerney was the only Bay Area member to vote for the bill today; all others opposed it except Speier, who didn’t vote.
The U.S. Senate passed its own Democratic-backed version of the repeal last month, and now the two chambers must reconcile their language on the issue before it can move forward.