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H.R. 477: Back to Work Extension Act

Open Congress Summary: “Extends a provision of the HIRE Act that exempts small businesses from paying the employer portion of the Social Security payroll tax for one year.”

Blue Votes: Yay


H.R.1124: Fairness in Taxation Act of 2011

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise income tax rates and to increase the rate on individual and married taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $1 million.

Similar Bill: S.522: Emergency Deficit Reduction Act

Blue Says: An annual income of $379,150 will put you in the top tax bracket, which is currently 35%. Because capital gains are not counted as income and are taxed at only 15%, the effective tax rate at this level is closer to 20%. But the top 1% of Americans make over $1 millon a year. (Both graphics from Mother Jones, see here and here)

Blue Votes: Yay


S.940: Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act

Open Congress Summary: “Repeals five tax subsidies for U.S. oil companies and closes a loophole that oil companies use to disguise foreign royalty payments as taxes and reduce their domestic tax bill. All savings under the bill would be applied to reducing federal budget deficits.”

Blue Votes: Yay


S. 1292: Employment Protection Act of 2011

Open Congress Summary: “A bill to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the impact on employment levels and economic activity prior to issuing a regulation, policy statement, guidance document, endangerment finding, or other requirement, implementing any new or substantially altered program, or denying any permit, and for other purposes.”

Blue Says: This is a perfect example of wasted Congressional resources. This bill is nothing but a statement that environmental protection and consumer protection should come second to profits. We as a nation have a vested interest in keeping dangerous products and byproducts off our shelves and out of our air and water. Companies who use new chemical compounds should have to prove their safety before they go to market instead of defending them after damage is done. Republicans tell us that this will kill jobs, but for every manufacturing [probably low-wage] job lost, a chemistry/engineering [high-skill, high-wage] job will be created.

Blue Votes: Nay

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