Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune yesterday introduced the GOP alternative amendment to the Democrats' Tax Extenders Bill currently before the Senate. Thune's amendment fully pays for extending important tax provisions and Unemployment Insurance benefits, provides a longer-term physician reimbursement, and cuts wasteful spending.

"My amendment sends a strong signal to the American people: Washington has a spending problem, and Republicans are going to take steps to fix it.

"Washington must stop its deficit spending. America's struggling economy cannot sustain Washington's reckless spending and new taxes like those included in the Democrats' 'extender' bill will only hurt families and businesses attempting to survive the current economic downturn.

"My amendment would eliminate harmful tax increases and wasteful spending included in the Democrats' bill. The best way for Congress to keep this nation moving forward is not by raising taxes, but cutting spending and reducing our $13 trillion national debt. It is time for Congress to set clear budget priorities and begin to cut wasteful spending programs," said Thune.

The underlying proposal sponsored by Senator Baucus increases spending $126 billion, includes over $70 billion in new taxes, and increases the deficit $79 billion over the next 10 years. The Thune amendment takes the exact opposite approach – it cuts taxes by $26 billion by extending current law, cuts spending by over $100 billion, and reduces the deficit by $55 billion, according to CBO.
  • The amendment extends the expiring unemployment provisions until November, just like the Baucus proposal and the House-passed bill.
  • The amendment extends $32 billion in expired tax provisions that lapsed at the end of 2009 including the tax credit for research and development and the state and local sales tax deduction through the end of the year.
  • The amendment drops all the harmful tax increases, and the costly $24 billion state bailout that is not paid for in the Baucus proposal.
  • The amendment is fully paid for with spending cuts that have been supported by all Republican Senators.
  • The amendment saves the taxpayers $113 billion in unnecessary spending by rescinding $38 billion in unobligated stimulus funds, cutting wasteful and unnecessary government spending, collecting the unpaid taxes of federal employees, freezing their salaries and capping their numbers, imposing a five percent across the board cut in government spending for all agencies except the VA and DOD, and creating a new deficit reduction trust fund where rescinded balances and moneys saved through this amendment will be deposited for the purposes of paying down the federal debt.
  • The Thune amendment provides relief for doctors by adding an additional year of the "doc fix" and reforming our broken and onerous medical malpractice system.
Under Democrat leadership in Congress this year, over $200 billion has been added to our deficit since passage of the PAYGO law. Due to these spending measures, our national debt recently crossed $13 trillion and the President's budget would add another $10 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years. The Thune amendment is the first step toward returning sanity to the federal budget, cutting spending, and reducing deficits without imposing further burdens on the private sector.