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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Support Discharge Petition on H.R. 15, the Middle Class Tax Cut Act

Advocacy Letter - 12/05/12

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives


Dear Representative:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 210 national organizations, we urge you to sign the discharge petition on H.R. 15, the Middle Class Tax Cut of 2012, which was filed yesterday by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN). This petition would force the House to schedule an up-or-down vote on a fair and fiscally responsible response to the upcoming expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. A similar measure has already passed the Senate. It is time to begin to restore some basic fairness to our tax system.

H.R. 15 would keep taxes low for the overwhelming majority of Americans, on one hand, and ensure fiscal soundness and preserve the basic functions of government, on the other. The Walz discharge petition is a necessary step in bringing H.R. 15 up for a vote because the House Republican leadership made it clear, in a letter they sent to President Obama on Monday, that they intend to let taxes go up on middle-class families as they fight to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers.

Ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans, households with incomes over $250,000, is simply asking them to pay their fair share. Contrary to disingenuous arguments that some have made, we do not denigrate financial success or support “class warfare.” While we are troubled by the fact that the gap between the richest households and everyone else in the U.S. has widened to historically high levels, we are even more troubled by the fact that the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans have exploded the deficit and failed to achieve their stated purpose of promoting economic growth.

We simply cannot afford to continue fiscally irresponsible tax breaks for the richest 2 percent and simultaneously address critical national priorities like improving the quality of and access to our education system, strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, creating jobs, improving our infrastructure, and helping millions of families that are still struggling to make ends meet. We as a nation will be forced to borrow more money, thereby adding to deficits, increasing the interest we must pay on our debt, and making it harder to effectively address our significant long-term fiscal challenges. Moreover, while the Republican leadership has continued to insist that a revenue increase be based on closing tax loopholes, the numbers simply do not add up.

Under H.R. 15 and its Senate-passed companion bill, 98 percent of Americans would continue paying the same lower tax rates next year. All Americans would continue to benefit from a lower tax rate on their first $250,000 in income. It is difficult to believe that the House leadership would sacrifice these tax cuts in order to continue down a fiscally unsustainable path.

For these reasons, we urge you to sign the discharge petition on H.R. 15. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us or Senior Counsel Rob Randhava at (202) 466-6058. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

Our Members