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Murray: “We want to grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down, we think these middle class tax cut bills are a strong step in the right direction, and we hope Republicans will put partisanship aside and work with us to get these done.”

*Video of remarks here*

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), spoke on the Senate floor to urge her colleagues to support legislation she introduced with members of the House and Senate that would cut taxes for the middle class, reward hard work, and give working families some help to afford child care and higher education. Senator Murray made the case that Congress should be working towards an economy that works for all families, not just the wealthiest few.

Specifically, she talked about the new legislation that would extend the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expansions and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and create a new 21st Century Worker tax cut.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“I am so proud to introduce two middle class tax cut bills today that will put money in the pockets of working families and update our tax code for the 21st century economy.”

“We believe government has a role to play in investing in working families, making sure they have the opportunity to work hard and succeed offering a hand up to those who want to climb the economic ladder and provide a better life for themselves and their families. And we believe that our government and our economy should be working for all families, not just the wealthiest few.”

“Republicans like to talk about cutting taxes, well, with these bills we are giving them a chance to do exactly that. Not with more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations—Republicans have given that trickle-down theory a try, and it’s failed, but with tax cuts for the middle class, for the workers that need it most—to help them afford child care, put food on the table, get back on the job, and have opportunity to work hard and succeed.” “We want to grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down, we think these middle class tax cut bills are a strong step in the right direction, and we hope Republicans will put partisanship aside and work with us to get these done.”

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“M. President—I come to the floor today to join my colleagues in taking a step back from the partisan bills on the floor this week to talk about ways we should be able to work together to grow the economy and help working families.

M. President—Democrats have an economic theory that we’re pretty confident about.

We believe real, long-term economic growth is built from the middle out, not the top down.

We believe government has a role to play in investing in working families, making sure they have the opportunity to work hard and succeed offering a hand up to those who want to climb the economic ladder and provide a better life for themselves and their families.

And we believe that our government and our economy should be working for all families, not just the wealthiest few.

Thankfully M. President, we’ve had the opportunity to put some policies into place over the past few years that have pulled our economy back from the brink and have started moving it in the right direction.

We’re not there yet—but across the country, businesses have added almost 12 million new jobs over 59 straight months of job growth - including almost one million manufacturing jobs.

The unemployment rate is now under 6%.

Health care costs are growing at their lowest rate in almost fifty years, while millions more families have access to affordable coverage.

The federal budget deficit has been reduced by over two-thirds since President Obama took office.

And although many Republicans keep threatening to bring this back, we’ve been able to move away from the constant Tea Party-driven crises and uncertainty that were destroying jobs and holding back our economy.

M. President, we are headed in a good direction—and I am proud of the policies we fought for that helped us get here.

But we have a whole lot more to do.

The economy has changed over the past few decades—and our tax code hasn’t kept up.

Working families have seen their incomes stagnate—while the cost of living, health care, and education has continued to go up.

And more and more families have two workers in the workforce—which is a good thing for so many women—but brings additional expenses, such as child care, transportation, and the increased marginal tax rate paid by the second worker in the family.

M. President—that is why I am so proud to introduce two middle class tax cut bills today that will put money in the pockets of working families and update our tax code for the 21st century economy.

My 21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act would create a new 10 percent credit on up to $10,000 of the income of the second earner in a family.

In other words, qualifying working families can reduce their income taxes by up to $1,000—which can go a long way to offset some of the additional costs these families bear.

This tax cut rewards families for more work—and it would especially help women who want to rejoin the workforce.

M. President, the second bill I am introducing today is the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act.

This bill would update and reform the outdated child and dependent care tax credit to help more working families.

It would increase the tax credit to keep up with the rising costs of quality child care.

And it would make sure the credit keeps up with the times by indexing it to inflation.

M. President—I am proud to introduce these bills today.

But I am even more proud that my bills are just two of the bills Democrats are introducing today that will help working families by putting more money in their pockets and helping them access more opportunities.

My colleagues will be talking more about the bills they wrote, but our package of bills also includes Earned Income and Child Care Tax Credit expansions, and expansion of American Opportunity Tax Credit to help middle class families afford child care so they can get back on the job—and to help them pay for college so they can work hard and invest in themselves and their careers.

M. President, Republicans like to talk about cutting taxes—well, with these bills, we are giving them a chance to do exactly that.

Not with more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations—

Republicans have given that trickle-down theory a try—and it’s failed—

But with tax cuts for the middle class.

For the workers that need it most—to help them afford child care, put food on the table, get back on the job—and have opportunity to work hard and succeed.

M. President, we want to grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down, we think these middle class tax cut bills are a strong step in the right direction, and we hope Republicans will put partisanship aside and work with us to get these done.

Thank you. I yield the floor.”