Daily Tax Update - January 21, 2010

OBAMA: HOLD OFF ON HEALTH CARE VOTE UNTIL BROWN SEATED: Yesterday, President Obama said that the Senate should not vote on a health care reform bill until Senator-Elect Scott Brown is sworn in. The President said, “Here's one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this is off the table: The Senate certainly shouldn't try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated. People in Massachusetts spoke. He's got to be part of that process.” The President added, “I think point number two is that it is very important to look at the substance of this package and for the American people to understand that a lot of the fear mongering around this bill isn't true.”

  • Democratic leaders are meeting to weigh possible options for passing a health care bill, including the passing of a scaled-back bill. The President said, “I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on.” The President continued, “We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up, and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements to this bill.” Obama added, “The House and the Senate bill overlap about 90 percent. And so, it does seem to me that there should be a way of, after all this work and all this pain, there should be a way of taking what's best in both bills and going ahead and getting that done.”
  • House Majority Leader Hoyer agreed with the President: “I think that sounds like a reasonable alternative. Given where we are, given the public's concern, I think we should focus on that which the public can support.” Hoyer added, “You can do it in a lot of ways. You could do it in an individual new bill.”
  • Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House does not have the votes to pass the Senate's version. Pelosi said, “In its present form without any changes I don't think it's possible to pass the Senate bill in the House. I don’t see the votes for it at this time.” Pelosi added that "everything is on the table.” Pelosi said, “We're not in a big rush. We'll pause. We have to know what our possibilities are.”
  • Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer said today, “We’re all exploring the right way to go. Obviously, you cannot just proceed as if nothing happened, because something very significant happened. But there’s a strong view...that we want to do some good things in health care. The question is how — how much and how quickly?” Schumer continued, “Obviously there are different options. And, you’d have to look at each. How long will each one take? I don’t think we want to do health care the next three months. So, there are trade-offs here, and that’s what everyone’s exploring. We don’t have to have something on the floor today or tomorrow.” Schumer added, “We have to take a deep breath, explore the ramifications of the election and then where to go. That doesn’t mean we’re going to twiddle our thumbs for weeks and weeks and weeks.”
  • Several Republican senators urged Democrats to start over with a new bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked if the health care bill was dead. McConnell replied, “I sure hope so.” McConnell added, “We remain open to trying to do this right. Stop this effort and start over.” Sen. Susan Collins concurred, “What I hope the White House will do is to start from scratch. Instead of pushing this bill through the House, work with a bipartisan group of senators to achieve a consensus bill that would have wide support. There are many provisions of the bill that have bipartisan support, and I believe the president would be wise to draft a new bill that he could get through both the House and Senate with supermajority bills.”

TAX BILL INTRODUCED JANUARY 20TH:
S.2937: A bill to provide a temporary suspension of limitation on charitable contributions and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.
Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 1/20/2010)     Cosponsors (4)

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