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Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Overview and Comparison of Proposals to Extend the “Bush Tax Cuts”: S. 3412, S. 3413, H.R. 8

Margot L. Crandall-Hollick
Analyst in Public Finance

Many of the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA; P.L. 107-16) and the Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA; P.L. 108-27), henceforth referred to as the Bush tax cuts, are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. Two bills introduced in the Senate—S. 3412, the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, offered by Senator Reid and S. 3413, the Tax Hike Prevention Act, offered by Senator Hatch—propose to extend some or all of these tax cuts for one year through the end of 2013.1 A bill introduced in the House—H.R. 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012—is virtually identical to S. 3413 except for its treatment of a business expensing provision. On July 25, 2012, the Senate agreed to the Reid proposal by a vote of 51-48, while they rejected the Hatch proposal (which was offered as amendment 2573 to the Reid proposal) by a vote of 45-54. Any further action would be on a house-originated tax measure. 2 The House is expected to vote on H.R. 8 before the August recess.3

This report is organized to first provide an overview of the Bush tax cuts, followed by brief summaries of S. 3412 and S. 3413, henceforth referred to as the Reid and Hatch proposals, respectively. Revenue loss estimates of certain provisions of these bills are also included, as well as a brief summary of H.R. 8, henceforth referred to as the Camp proposal. In addition, detailed summary tables comparing the Reid and Hatch/Camp proposals—to each other and to current law—are provided. Finally, this report concludes with a brief overview of the current policy debate surrounding the partial or full extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Date of Report: July 30, 2012
Number of Pages: 20
Order Number: R42622
Price: $29.95

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