Senate Approves AMT Patch with No Revenue Offsets

December 6, 2007

News from Thursday night on Capitol Hill regarding AMT, courtesy of Bloomberg:

The Senate agreed to spare 23 million American households from the alternative minimum tax this year after Republicans forced Democrats to drop plans to balance the cuts with higher taxes on managers of hedge funds and buyout firms.

The Senate voted 88-5 to approve a one-year, stop-gap measure that temporarily indexes the minimum tax for inflation and adds $51 billion to the deficit.

The vote sends the issue back to the House of Representatives, which last month approved higher taxes on executives of hedge funds, buyout firms, real estate, and other partnerships to offset the revenue lost from the minimum tax relief.

Senate Democrats today complained that Republicans refused to balance the revenue losses by increasing taxes elsewhere, adding to the federal deficit.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said House Democrats must agree to the “commonsense solution” or “explain to taxpayers why they will further delay tax refunds for millions of Americans.”

The Senate vote to approve the alternative minimum relief came hours after the Senate earlier in the day refused to begin debate on the House version. A proposal to take up the House measure fell 14 votes short of the 60 necessary to proceed.

Here’s the roll call vote. The vote was 88-5. Each of the presidential candidates plus Voinovich and Ensign were absent, while five Democrats voted no including Dorgan (ND), Conrad (ND), Carper (DE), Whitehouse (RI), and Feingold (WI).

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