Sen. Jon Kyl is asked by Candy Crowley how Republicans can object to the tax cuts for small businesses in the jobs bill Harry Reid is proposing and no shock here, Kyl objects to the proposals and thinks instead the solution is to keep the tax rates where they're at and don't increase them. That doesn't sound like anything that targets small businesses to me.
Although Kyl is claiming he's concerned for small businesses I would imagine he's much more upset about losing what the bill that came out of the Finance Committee would have done for big business instead.
The GOP is outraged that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) spiked the bipartisan jobs bill unveiled on Thursday, dropping some of its major provisions. But what exactly was cut from the bill that made them so angry -- was it the loss of the COBRA subsidies or the unemployment extension?
No, it was the K Street Kickback, which extends huge tax credits to large corporations. Unlike the Louisiana Purchase or the Cornhusker Kickback, which won the support of Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for the health care reform bill, the K Street payoff is counted in the tens of billions of dollars, rather than a few hundred million. While Democratic senators come cheap, getting Republicans to buy into a jobs bill seems to cost taxpayers serious money.
One of the top priorities of Big Business lobbyists is the "tax extender" issue, the extension of expiring tax credits worth tens of billions of dollars to major corporations, which is favored by Republicans. Read on...
Transcript below the fold via CNN.
CROWLEY: OK. I want to talk -- move to the jobs bill that has been moving through the Senate in various permutations. First we were told we had a bipartisan jobs bill, around $85 billion worth. Not -- not very much later we heard from Senator Reid, the majority leader, who said, wait a second, here's the jobs bill we're going to have. It has four key points in it that really are Republican-requested things, certainly in the past.
There's a $13 billion in tax credits for employers who hire new workers. There is help for small businesses so they can help write off the cost of major purchases. There is help for state and local governments to lower their borrowing costs and a one-year extension of the Service Transportation Act to build highways. I've never known a senator that was ever against that, on either side of the aisle.
Are you going to pass this bill? There's nothing in there, I don't think, that Republicans can object to, is there?
KYL: Yes, there is. And, for one thing, I'm very confused about -- in fact, I was a little embarrassed. I was answering a question at a press conference on 1:30 on Thursday about examples of bipartisanship, and I pointed to the Republican Grassley-Democrat Baucus bill that you alluded to as a good example of bipartisanship, and then found out about a half an hour later that, during their luncheon, Harry Reid had scrapped that, some said pulled the rug out from under Chairman Baucus, and come with this -- with this bill.
First of all, I do not support this expanded bonding authority. It's a subsidy to local government from the federal government at a time when we don't have the money to spend on that.
With regard -- the Section 179 expensing is a good proposal, but the proposal to target job creation by giving a tax break to employers who hire somebody who's been unemployed when they laid off people earlier is unfair to those who worked very hard to keep their workforce intact.
Much more sensible would be just to keep the tax rates exactly where they are for small businesses and not allow them to increase, as the president has proposed.
CROWLEY: But, Senator, isn't there a problem here for Republicans who had been for small-business tax cuts, who have argued that small businesses are where the jobs are created?
Here is a jobs-creating -- they hope -- tax cut for small businesses. And if Republicans come out against things that they have, at least in some permutation, wanted in the past, don't you really, kind of, feed into their claim that you're the party of no?
KYL: Candy, my response earlier was that this is not a proposal Republicans had made. We have a different small-business approach.
Now, the goal is the same. We believe that our approach would be more effective than spending the money that the president proposes to do it this way. I don't know whether Republicans will support this or not. All I was saying is that this was not what we had proposed in the past.