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House bill creates jobs, adds veteran benefits, cuts taxes, Skelton says
House bill creates jobs, adds veteran benefits, cuts taxes, Skelton says

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 28, 2010) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) voted in favor of H.R. 4213, legislation that would spur small business job growth, cut taxes for middle class families and farmers, and end, for two years, the so-called disabled veterans tax for 77,000 disabled service members.

After today’s vote in Congress, Skelton stated:

“I supported H.R. 4213 because it would do great things for farmers, small businesses, and veterans and senior citizens throughout Missouri — that is why many organizations like the American Farm Bureau, the Military Officer’s Association of America, and AARP support the legislation.

“Promoting job growth in our small towns and rural communities is a top priority for me. This legislation would create new jobs by cutting taxes for American families and businesses and by spurring new infrastructure improvements.

“H.R. 4213 would also take care of American veterans by eliminating the so-called disabled veterans’ tax for two years for 77,000 disabled service members, would provide American farmers with tax relief and emergency disaster assistance, and would extend emergency assistance to American families struggling through the Great Recession.”

Among other provisions, the legislation would provide emergency help for those who lost their jobs in the recent recession, extend important farm tax breaks for biodiesel production and farm equipment purchases, prevent a 21 percent cut to Medicare reimbursements, and fund concurrent receipt of both disability pay and military pensions — ending what some have called the “disabled veterans’ tax” — for 77,000 disabled service members. H.R. 4213 has been endorsed by myriad organizations including the American Farm Bureau, the Military Officer’s Association of America, the National Retail Federation, the Independent Community Bankers Association, and the AARP.

Before becoming law, H.R. 4213 must be passed by the Senate and signed by the President.

Skelton’s full remarks on the measure are included below.

_____

Congressman Ike Skelton
U.S. House of Representatives
May 28, 2010
H.R. 4213

Madam Speaker. When I am home in Missouri, the folks I talk to frequently express their concerns about the economy and jobs. According to the most recent data, 27,630 people in the Fourth District are without work. Families whose breadwinners have lost work and others who fear unemployment must continue to be a priority of this Congress.

Jobs allow for American families to feel secure in their homes. Jobs stimulate economic activity in our home towns and throughout our country. Jobs generate tax revenue for city, state, and federal governments, which help policy makers pay the bills and reduce the deficit. Jobs are essential to breaking out of the Great Recession.

This year, Congress has been working on several jobs bills. One bill known as the HIRE Act, which is now the law of the land, provides tax relief to small businesses and expands important highway projects. Other legislation on which Congress has been working include bills to provide additional small business tax relief, to expand lending opportunities for small businesses, and to stimulate small business growth and expansion.

Today, the House of Representatives is considering H.R. 4213, a bill that would create additional jobs in our country by cutting taxes for American families and businesses and by spurring new infrastructure improvements. It would also take care of American veterans by eliminating the so-called disabled veterans tax for two years, would provide American farmers with tax relief and emergency disaster assistance, and would extend emergency assistance to American families.

H.R. 4213 is supported by Farm Bureau, by veterans, by small businesses, and by AARP.

For Missouri farmers, H.R. 4213 would extend the five-year depreciation for farming machinery and equipment, would extend the charitable tax deduction for donated food, and would extend the tax deduction for donating conservation easements. H.R. 4213 would also extend critical tax incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel. The biodiesel tax credit is very important to the development and sustainability of America’s renewable fuel industry. H.R. 4213 would also provide emergency financial assistance to farmers for qualifying 2009 agricultural losses. For these reasons, today’s legislation has been endorsed by the Farm Bureau and the National Biodiesel Board.

For America’s veterans, H.R. 4213 would allow many military retirees who are also disabled veterans to receive both Department of Defense military retirement pay and VA military disability pay for the next two years. Often referred to as the disabled veterans tax, finding a legislative solution to the concurrent receipt issue has been a top priority of our nation’s veterans and of Congress. I have worked on the House Armed Services Committee to end the disabled veterans tax and am pleased that H.R. 4213 will provide full retirement and disability benefits to 77,000 of these disabled service members for two years. Its passage is a critical first step toward extending concurrent receipt to all 136,000 medically retired veterans over four years. Because of the bill’s positive impact on veterans, it has been endorsed by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

For Missouri businesses, H.R. 4213 would allow credit to flow more easily to small businesses through popular and effective SBA lending programs, would extend the research and development (R&D) tax credit that encourages financial investment and job creation in America’s high tech sector, would allow corporations to receive a refund of a portion of their alternative minimum tax credits if they invest during 2010 in capital equipment for use in the United States, would extend the 15-year cost recovery for qualified improvements to restaurants and retail space, and would extend benefits for investments in economically distressed areas of our country. Because the business provisions included in H.R. 4213 are so very important, the bill is supported by the National Restaurant Association, the Independent Community Bankers Association, and the National Retail Federation.

For Missouri families, H.R. 4213 would provide important tax relief. The bill would extend for one year tax deductions for qualified college education expenses. It would extend a special deduction for teachers and other school professionals who use personal funds to buy school supplies for their classrooms. And, the legislation would ensure activated military reservists do not suffer a pay reduction by providing a tax credit for small businesses that continue to pay National Guard and Reserve employees when they are called to active duty.

For Missouri’s senior citizens, military personnel, military retirees, and people with disabilities, H.R. 4213 would ensure they are able to continue seeing the doctor of their choice by preventing a 21 percent reduction in Medicare and TRICARE physician fees and by reforming the physician payment system. Without making these changes, doctors in Missouri and elsewhere would likely not continue to see Medicare and TRICARE patients. That is why H.R. 4213 is supported by AARP and MOAA.

H.R. 4213 would extend other valuable provisions of the U.S. tax code, including deductions for charitable contributions by individuals and businesses, would provide for important pension relief sought after by the Missouri Rural Electric Cooperatives, would provide emergency assistance for American families who are impacted by unemployment, would create summer jobs for American youth, and would allow for state and local governments to finance the reconstruction of schools, sewer systems, and hospitals through Build America Bonds and Recovery Zone Bonds — work that would create thousands of jobs across our country. Because infrastructure improvements are so vital to jobs, H.R. 4213 has been endorsed by our nation’s mayors and county governments.

The non-emergency spending associated with H.R. 4213 is compliant with the PAYGO law enacted earlier this year. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4213 so that we can provide tax relief to American families, farmers, and businesses, can take care of America’s veterans and senior citizens, and can create small business jobs.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.

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