What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Tax Breaks for the Rich : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Promote Research and Development In Biotechnology, Computer Science, and Software Design. (2003 senate Roll Call 154)
 Who: All Members
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Promote Research and Development In Biotechnology, Computer Science, and Software Design.
senate Roll Call 154     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The subject of this vote was an amendment proposed by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to the tax cut legislation that would have extended the research and development tax credit for companies investing in, among other things, biotechnology, computer science, and software design. The cost of Cantwell's proposal would have been offset by reinstating the dividends tax. Progressives supported Cantwell's amendment because they view investments in research and development to be more conducive to economic growth than eliminating the dividends tax (dividends are corporate payouts to shareholders and are disproportionately enjoyed by wealthy individuals). A point of order was raised by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) against the Cantwell measure by claiming that it was not relevant to the tax cut measure. Debate on budget-related legislation-which, according to recent rulings by the Senate parliamentarian, includes tax cut proposals-is governed by the reconciliation process. Reconciliation rules allow Senators to raise points of order against amendments by claiming that they are not relevant to the pending legislation in order to defeat the amendment. To overcome a point of order, a sixty-vote majority is required in support of the amendment. The Cantwell amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was rejected 49-50.

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