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  • Reid's Unconstitutional Gambit on Small Business Taxes

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) is trying to use the Senate to message on tax issues. The problem is that this political ploy is unconstitutional.

    It is important to note that any big tax idea—whether it be comprehensive tax reform, the President’s idea to extend only certain aspects of the 2001 and 2003 tax policies, or the Republican idea to extend all of the policies for one year—has no chance of passing before the election. Every major tax idea is merely messaging.

    Per Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution (the Origination Clause), tax bills are supposed to originate in the House, yet Reid has forced votes on the tax-related “Buffett Rule” and the Violence Against Women Act, which was rejected by the House because it unconstitutionally originated a revenue-raising provision. The Buffett Rule never passed the Senate.

    It is possible for the Senate to debate tax issues if it takes up a House-passed tax bill. The House can start a tax discussion that triggers a tax debate in the Senate. But Senators are not even pretending to legislate by taking up a tax bill; they are merely rolling out Senate-originated tax ideas for debate in the Senate. This violates Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution.

    Today, Reid is forcing a cloture vote on S. 2237, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act. The bill provides temporary tax credits for increased payroll and extends allowance for bonus depreciation for certain business assets.

    The Associated Press describes the $29 billion bill as follows:

    The legislation would grant tax credits—which are subtracted from a company’s tax bill—equal to 10 percent of the amount its 2012 payroll exceeds the salaries it paid in 2011. The maximum credit would be $500,000, a figure that would disproportionately help smaller businesses. It would also let companies that buy major new property in 2012, such as machinery, deduct the entire cost of the purchase this year. Currently they can only deduct half the amount.

    This may be a laudable idea and something that may be subject to a good faith negotiation, yet that is not going to happen. Reid’s plan is to roll out this bill, use a procedural tactic to block all amendments, then force a show vote to make believe that opponents of the bill are against small-business tax measures.

    Somebody in the Senate needs to stand up to Reid’s political ploy to restore the proper role of the Senate in tax debates.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Reid's Unconstitutional Gambit on Small Business Taxes

    1. Bobbie says:

      when will disciplinary and accountability actions be taken? set Mr. Reid aside, get rid of unconstitutional obamacare, get rid of the tax idea, lift the excessive rules, get rid of the excessive regulations and all expenses of government, step out of the way and watch small businesses maintain in a business friendly America!

      This country needs all members following the rules. Even the ones with low self esteem, Mr. Reid.
      Following the rules builds personal dignity, Democratic members!! Can't hurt to take the challenge?

      • pmacdee says:

        <<unconstitutional obamacare

        Dude… read the papers much? Obamacare is constitutional.

        • Bobbie says:

          Anybody in high places can say anything they want! It doesn't make it right! Have you ever read the peoples constitution? Bet not! People in high positions that have already shown no reason to trust makes this account constitutional? It's our constitution not the government runners. The federal government has no right infiltrating our personal livelihoods to the extent the federal government is working into and against the constitution. people lacking in self respect won't see this. When government is involved anywhere to call it good, the devil is in the details as we see in every account with democrats who belittles society to take personal control away and make government (tax payers unknown obligated pay) work out of it. Dude, you need to think better of yourself than to give into government that isn't your own, taking your personal control away!

    2. pmacdee says:

      I see nothing wrong with approving this bill. That is of course unless one doesn't like voting for a Democratic originated idea.

      • Fedup says:

        You qualify to be the Attorney General of the U.S., pmacdee. Just like the current AG, (and our corrupt prez) you can disregard the law and the Constitution. What a great country! Laws for thee but not for me.

      • Bobbie says:

        America is in danger and you see nothing wrong with that either! Unprincipled are you?

      • SDL says:

        Whether the bill is a good idea or not isn't the point. It is unconstitutional. I for one am tired of seeing the Dems ignore their sworn duty.

        • Cameron says:

          It's not unconstitutional. REVENUE bills must originate in the House. This isn't a revenue bill, as it doesn't raise any revenue.

    3. bpowell says:

      The point is, Senator Reid doesn't have the constitutional authority to institute a tax bill in the Senate. It doesn't matter if the bill is a good one or a bad one. He has no authority. It is typical of Reid though, to use all means to achieve his ends. He has no care or concern about the legitimacy of his actions. He believes he is above any law.

    4. sc patriot says:

      The problem is that all spending bills MUST originate in the House! It might be a great idea, but how about follow the Constitution for a change.

    5. CforUS says:

      "I see nothing wrong with approving this bill". You do understand that the Constitution is not a guideline don't you? It seems to me Article 1, Section is very (VERY) clear "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."

      Funny. Ignoring the oath of office, making up rules as you go along, and disregaring the Constitution for partisan ends seems to be perfectly fine with the Democrat members of the Senate. As a citizen I am outraged and saddened by how low Senate ethics has fallen. Obviously ignoring the Constitution for a partisan manuver is making a truly bad situation worse.

      When the vote is called Harry Reid should be summoned to the Rules and Administration Committee or the Select Committee on Ethics to explain his actions. A vote should be called to remove him as Majority Leader based on violating his oath of office. American citizens that believe in the Constitution should fully voice their support for the action.

      • GreatDansby says:

        Article 1 Section 7 is clear, the Senate cannot originate bills that raise revenue, but last time I checked, this bill gave TAX BREAKS which is the opposite of revenue. http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec7.html

        Before you all thump your chests about partisan politics, you may want to read your cherished constitution and UNDERSTAND it before commenting.

        And to stomp on Dems for a bill that "has no chance of passing before the election", when the GOP is voting on repealing the ACA, AGAIN… How about we get something DONE this year? Hey maybe someone should propose a bill that has a chance of passing… like a job generating tax cut maybe…

    6. RennyG says:

      Hey everyone, Harry does nothing! He is just the "mouth piece" for the "king!!!" Do you think he is smart enough to think up something like this? He is the "puppet" and you know who is pulling the strings!!!

    7. Blair Franconia, NH says:


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