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Slaughter Has Mixed Emotions about Tax Credit Bill

By Joyce Kryszak

Washington, DC – The House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill Thursday night that could extend child tax credits to $6.5 million low income families. But the $82 billion dollar GOP bill, which also includes extra tax credits for the wealthy, may never make it into law.

The Senate last week passed a $9 billion measure that would have expanded the child tax credit to lower income families. But GOP lawmakers went one better. Their bill passed last night throws in roughly another $73 billion to also give the child tax credit to couples who earn $150,000 or more.

Many Democratic lawmakers say the rich have already gotten enough of a tax break. But many GOP lawmakers had argued that those in the lower tax brackets, who don't pay federal income tax, shouldn't get money back. Democratic Congresswoman Louis Slaughter says that bothers her on many fronts.

"First is the fact that the tax system in the United States has always been based on ability to pay. And second it overlooks completely that they pay the payroll tax, they pay the local taxes, they pay sales tax," said Slaughter.

Slaughter says they begged GOP leaders to accept the Senate version of the expanded credit. Now both houses would have to negotiate a compromise package. Slaughter says Republicans knew their more expensive package would kill any chance poor working families will get the child tax credit.

"The Senate will not take it, they want to hit everybody with it and say, 'take that.' They're not going to do it and the House knows that," said Slaughter. "What they know then is that pretty soon the Fourth of July recess comes up, everybody goes, and maybe everybody will forget about it."

Slaughter says there about 50,000 low income families in her Western New York district who would lose out if the tax credit fails to make it into law.