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Murray Slams Republicans for Obstructing Bill That Would Help Washington State Families and Small Businesses

Jun 24 2010

Murray spoke on floor before vote to support passage of bill that would extend tax credits to Washington state families and small business owners, provide critical support to state

Watch the speech

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) slammed Senate Republicans after every single one voted against legislation critical to Washington state families, small businesses, and communities.  Earlier in the afternoon Murray spoke on the Senate floor urging Republicans to end their obstruction and allow this bill to pass that would allow Washington state families to deduct state sales tax from their federal income tax, extend critical tax incentives for clean-energy businesses, and extend unemployment benefits to struggling families.  This bill also contains critical FMAP funding for Washington state. The bill needed 60 votes to proceed but failed 57-41.

“I am so disappointed that Republicans once again put partisan politics above families, communities and states by blocking this critical legislation,” said Senator Patty Murray following the vote. “We reached out to Republicans again and again to find a way to pass this bill, but again and again they said no to providing the tax credits and support we know our families need. Republicans may believe that their obstruction hurts Democrats, but the reality is that their actions are going to devastate families and communities across the country who were counting on us to provide this critical support.”

 

 

Summary of key tax cuts and support for Washington state that Republicans said no to today

Senator Murray spoke earlier in the day to urge support for this bill.

Key excerpts from speech:

“It’s time to stop saying no to clean-energy companies in my home state of Washington who depend on these tax credits to stay competitive.”

“It’s time to stop saying no to the thousands of police officers, corrections officers, and so many others who would lose their jobs in my home state if this bill doesn’t pass and Washington state has to further slash its budget.”

“And it’s time to stop saying no to middle-class families across Washington state who depend on the sales tax deduction that would be extended in this bill—and who would be out hundreds of millions of dollars if this bill continues to be blocked.”

“We have tried to work with the other side on this. We compromised. And then we compromised again. And then again. But the other side refuses to work with us. Enough already.”

“Washington state families are hurting. They are fighting every day to stay on their feet. And I am not going to stop fighting by their side. “

“There is a lot at stake in this bill. And I am urging my Republican colleagues to follow our example and put our families, communities, and states above partisan politics—and work with us to pass this bill.”

The full text of Senator Murray’s speech follows:

“Mr.President, I come to the floor today to express my disappointment that we have gotten to this point on a critical piece of legislation.

“We put together a bill that will provide much-needed help to families and communities across the country.

“A bill that will make sure our recovery is not jeopardized.

“That would extend tax credits to individuals and small businesses that both parties think are important.  

“That would provide incentives for clean-energy companies to expand and create jobs;

“That would allow families in states like Washington to deduct local sales tax from their federal returns;

“That would provide critical support for states across the country that are struggling to provide health care to their families in these tough economic conditions;

“And that would extend unemployment benefits to support those in our communities who need just a little more support to get back on their feet.

“In other words—a common-sense bill to help our economy get back on track.

“But when we brought this bill to the floor, every single Republican said no to supporting our communities.

“So instead of walking away – instead of furthering the Republican’s goal of partisan gridlock. We extended a hand to our Republican colleagues.  We worked with them to trim sections they wanted trimmed. To reduce the support for families where they wanted it reduced.  And we brought it to the floor again.

“But once again, they said no to American families.

“So we went back and did it a third time.   We trimmed it back even further. We did exactly what they wanted.

“So now I am saying to my Republican colleagues that it’s time to stop saying no.

“It’s time to stop saying no to clean-energy companies in my home state of Washington who depend on these tax credits to stay competitive.

“It’s time to stop saying no to the thousands of police officers, corrections officers, and so many others who would lose their jobs in my home state if this bill doesn’t pass and Washington state has to further slash its budget.

“It’s time to stop saying no to the men and women across the country who are desperately trying to find work, but just need a little help keeping their heads above the water in these tough economic times.

“And it’s time to stop saying no to middle-class families across Washington state who depend on the sales tax deduction that would be extended in this bill—and who would be out hundreds of millions of dollars if this bill continues to be blocked.

“Just stop staying no.

“Mr.President, we have tried to work with the other side on this. We compromised. And then we compromised again. And then again. But the other side refuses to work with us. Enough already.

“I go back to Washington state every weekend.  I talk to my constituents—and I try to explain to them what we are working on here in D.C. And to be honest, I am having a lot of trouble explaining why when big banks and Wall Street were on the brink of failure and threatening to blow up our economy,  Republicans immediately came together to help us step back from the brink.

“But now that Wall Street is fine but regular families and communities continue to struggle—those same Republicans are nowhere to be found.

“Well, I don’t have an answer for these families. And quite honestly I don’t understand it myself.  Because, the fact is, we have put together a bill that is fully paid for with the exception of unemployment benefits – a direct stimulus to our economy, that have been passed as emergency spending time and again – under both Democratic and Republican control.  

“We have done all that we can.  If Republicans say no again, it is clear that they are putting their interests before the interests of hard-working families.

“Mr.President, Washington state families are hurting. They are fighting every day to stay on their feet. And I am not going to stop fighting by their side.  

“There is a lot at stake in this bill. And I am urging my Republican colleagues to follow our example and put our families, communities, and states above partisan politics—and work with us to pass this bill.”