Murkowski Comments on Senate Passage of the Tax Package Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, made the following statement after voting today in favor of the tax package, which passed the Senate by a vote of 81 – 19:

“Neither side of the aisle got everything it wanted in this tax package, but I believe the bill strikes a fair middle ground that will block huge tax hikes that could jeopardize the economic recovery. Absent an agreement on taxes, all Americans who pay taxes would see their tax bill go up come the New Year. The bill passed today by the Senate will also preserve for two years the child tax credit and marriage penalty relief and will protect at least 26 million households, including nearly 25,000 Alaskan families, from being hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, in 2010-11. It will block higher taxes on capital gains and dividends, and ensure that the estate tax does not revert to its pre-2001 level of a 55 percent top rate with a $1 million exemption. A payroll tax reduction of 2 percent for all Americans will pump additional dollars into the economy. The compromise will also extend unemployment benefits for 13 months for those who continue to have trouble finding work amid a weak economy.

“This agreement is not perfect, but it does give individuals and businesses certainty that their tax bills will not go up in the midst of the worst economic downturn in more than a generation. It is my hope that Congress will use the next two years to work on deficit reduction and undertake a comprehensive review and reform of the tax code that results in tax code simplification but also encourages equity and promotes economic growth.