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Senate Proceeding on Mar 12th, 2008 :: 4:23:11 to 4:34:55
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Ken Salazar

4:22:57 to 4:23:11( Edit History Discussion )

Ken Salazar: day, week by week, month by month, year by year because the cost of oil has gone up so high and yet we have not been able to minimize our dependence, although we've passed some very formidable laws

Edward Kennedy

4:23:11 to 4:23:24( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: to address it in time, in due course. but for now we continue to use more than we did last year and more than we did the year before before. and at $100-plus a barrel, there is no question we are not

Edward Kennedy

4:23:11 to 4:34:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Edward Kennedy

Edward Kennedy

4:23:24 to 4:23:35( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: adjust adjusting to that very well. and we must do everything we can to avoid that continued use. this will did a little by the. if the committees that are charge ed with -- and given jurisdiction,

Edward Kennedy

4:23:35 to 4:23:48( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: if they were to pass it, it would help. and, in the meantime, there's no question we should seek every opportunity to minimize our dependence upon foreign oil so as to permit our economy to grow again and become

Edward Kennedy

4:23:48 to 4:24:02( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: powerful again. this senator is fearful that we're going in the wrong direction, principally because oil is too expensive and we must import too much of it. i yield the floor.. i thank the senator

Edward Kennedy

4:24:02 to 4:24:15( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: for permiort permitting me to join him in his amendment today. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. salazar: mr. president, i ask un animous consent to

Edward Kennedy

4:24:15 to 4:24:30( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: speak on amendment 4196, as modified, which senator conrad submitted and introduced for me earlier today. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. salazar: mr. president, my amendment is a very simple

Edward Kennedy

4:24:30 to 4:24:44( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: amendment. it deals with the estate tax, and what it does it set aside a deficit reserve fund that will protect family businesses and family farms and ranches from the estate tax. it is a straightforward

Edward Kennedy

4:24:44 to 4:24:54( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: amendment that will address the complexity of the change ing estate tax law that we currently face. let me just say at the outset that when one looks at what we are facee ing here with respect to the

Edward Kennedy

4:24:54 to 4:25:02( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: estate tax in the years a ahead, i think that it is clear that we must act to provide certainty to people with respect to their estates and to deal with issues that have been raised by senators on the

Edward Kennedy

4:25:02 to 4:25:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: democratic side of the aisle as well as senators on the republican side of the aisle. it is clear when you look at what is happening now with respect to the current law, in 2 2007 and 2008 you have

Edward Kennedy

4:25:11 to 4:25:25( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: an effective exemption of $2,000 and a top tax rate of 45%. when you look at the year 2509, under current larks we're look looking at an effective exemption of 3.5 million and a 45% top tarks raivment

Edward Kennedy

4:25:25 to 4:25:36( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and then in 2010, for that year it is completely repealed. so there is no estate tax. and then 2011 and thereafter you're looking at a framework of law that will effectively provide a $1 million exemption

Edward Kennedy

4:25:36 to 4:25:51( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: and that will have what is a 55% 55%, plus a potential 5% surtax, as a potential rateat with respect to estates. no one knows when they're going to die. . we don't know whether it is a 2 2008 events,

Edward Kennedy

4:25:51 to 4:26:03( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. so this is an area of the law which we must fix and i'm proud of the fact that our chairman and the finance committee, senator baucus, has started to hold hearings

Edward Kennedy

4:26:03 to 4:26:16( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: on the estate tax. we had one this morning in which we heard different concepts of how estates are taxed in places like canada and australia and new zealand and different a approaches to dealing dealing with

Edward Kennedy

4:26:16 to 4:26:32( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: this issue. i'm hopeful that as we move forward in the year ahead that we can find a bipartisan solution to deal with the estate tax issue that faces us. fome, as one senator, there are three principles

Edward Kennedy

4:26:32 to 4:26:43( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: that i will keep in mind and i hope that we all keep in mind. first is fiscal responsibility. you know, we have in fact, as, the chairman of the budget committee has saw so often state ed over the last

Edward Kennedy

4:26:43 to 4:27:01( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: seven years, created this huge mountain of debt and i think it is important for us to abide by the pay-go principles which we have adopted in this chamber so that as we are creating new programs

Edward Kennedy

4:27:01 to 4:27:13( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: or we're create ing new tax cuts, we're finding ways of paying for those deficits or for those programs that we are create ing.~ and so that's all part of hopefully of what will be a new wind that

Edward Kennedy

4:27:13 to 4:27:29( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: will blow upon washington or started to blow upon washington that we need to be fiscally responsible with the resources of the government. the second imperative for me as we move forward working with the

Edward Kennedy

4:27:29 to 4:27:48( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: estate tax, is we deal with those estates that don't have liquidity, as happens in the case with farmers and ranchers who sometimes do have to split up their estate because of the fact that they can't

Edward Kennedy

4:27:48 to 4:28:03( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: find the money to be able to pay off their estate tax. it does, in fact happen, it happens from time to time in my home state of colorado. i'm hoping to frame a law that will allow farmers and

Edward Kennedy

4:28:03 to 4:28:19( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: ranchers that will allow farmers and ranchers to stay on their land. there is no way to predict when you're going to die. it is important for those looking ahead for their estates that there be some certainty

Edward Kennedy

4:28:19 to 4:28:35( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: with respect to the law with regard to their asset an their estate. our amendment addresses all of those issues. the estate tax is a complicated and intimidating law. it does need some reform. the

Edward Kennedy

4:28:35 to 4:28:50( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: finance committee will hold a number of hearings on this. the first amendment that senator baucus offered on tax cuts for americans, provides some relief and some certainty for families and small businesses

Edward Kennedy

4:28:50 to 4:29:00( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: by asewerring that there is no increase in the estate tax by a permanent extension of the 2009 estate tax law. i am a proud cosponsor of that amend. i believe the manner in which we address the estate

Edward Kennedy

4:29:00 to 4:29:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: tax in that amendment is a minimal level of reform that congress can accomplish. that is why i have introduced the amendment before us which is to create a deficit neutral reserve fund for the additional

Edward Kennedy

4:29:11 to 4:29:23( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: estate tax relief. it will provide sufficient funds to supply a proposal to have the estate tax at $5 million and to lower the tax rate to 35%. but my amendment will not lock in the structure of

Edward Kennedy

4:29:23 to 4:29:36( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the estate tax reform. it may be that we will need to provide additional relief and taylor the legislation in the -- taylor the legislation in the finance committee in a manner that addresses the needs of

Edward Kennedy

4:29:36 to 4:29:48( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: family farmers and ranchers and family businesses. as we learned this morning in a hearing of the senate finance committee, there are many options for us to consider as we move forward with fixing

Edward Kennedy

4:29:48 to 4:30:00( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the estate tax law. there are many options to estate tax reform and we should continue to work our way through the process to identify the most appropriate way to move forward on a bipartisan basis.

Edward Kennedy

4:30:00 to 4:30:10( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: this morning's hearing for us was a second estate tax hearing we have held in the finance committee on this issue, and we will hold a third hearing on this matter in early april. we are working through

Edward Kennedy

4:30:10 to 4:30:21( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the process, we are examing the challenges posed by the current estate tax system and we are considering a wide range of proposals to provide comprehensive, permanent, and fiscally responsible reform.

Edward Kennedy

4:30:21 to 4:30:35( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: i remain committed to working with chairman baucus, senator conrad and other colleagues both on the finance committee and in the senate to achieving meaningful reform in the near term. my amendment and

Edward Kennedy

4:30:35 to 4:30:50( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the amendment by senator baucus will help pave the way for that reform and i urge my colleagues to support it. i also, mr. president, want to spend just a few minutes speaking to the baucus amendment,

Edward Kennedy

4:30:50 to 4:31:04( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: which i am a -- an original cosponsor of. and that amendment, by senator baucus, would take the surplus funds the budget resolution, to make sure that we're taking care of the middle class of america

Edward Kennedy

4:31:04 to 4:31:15( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: as we move forward. what that amendment again does is make the permanent extension of the 10% income tax bracket permanent. it addresses the extension of the increased refundable child tax credit with

Edward Kennedy

4:31:15 to 4:31:33( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: additional eligibility for lower income americans and makes that permanent. it addresses the marriage penalty tax relief provisions and makes that tax relief provision permanent. it addresses the

Edward Kennedy

4:31:33 to 4:31:50( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: extension of the tax credit for child care expenses and it makes that credit a permanent credit. it addresses the increased adoption tax credit and makes that permanent. and it also addresses the estate

Edward Kennedy

4:31:50 to 4:32:07( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: tax issues, as i addressed earlier. i'm hopeful that my colleagues will support both the baucus amendment as well as the salazar amendm ent. and, mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?

Edward Kennedy

4:32:07 to 4:32:20( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. conrad: mr. president, -- has this been checked with the other inside let's check. senator kyl -- mr. kyl: i would like to respond to senator

Edward Kennedy

4:32:20 to 4:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: salazar, if i might, on our time, if i may have my time taken off of the republican side. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kyl: thank you. mr. president, let me speak for a few minutes

Edward Kennedy

4:32:34 to 4:32:45( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: in response to my colleague from colorado because earlier today i offered an amendment which, as i gather, it would accomplish essentially the same thing as the amendment of the senator from colorado. my

Edward Kennedy

4:32:45 to 4:32:55( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: amendment explicitly would provide in the budget an accommodation for a rate -- excuse me, an exempted amount of $5 million per spouse or a total of $10 million as part of the unified gift and estate

Edward Kennedy

4:32:55 to 4:33:08( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: tax exemption, and a rate -- top rate not to exceed 35%. as i understand i the amendment of the senator from colorado would accommodate that same relief. i noted that in my amendment we also ensured that the

Edward Kennedy

4:33:08 to 4:33:16( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: $5 million per person exempted amount was indexed for inflation. we provided a step up in basis. the existing period of time to pay the tax. i -- i presume or i would gather that those same items

Edward Kennedy

4:33:16 to 4:33:31( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: are included in the senator's amendment. but he can respond to that. i guess my point is that we have a difference here between the amendment that i offered and the amendment of the senator from colorado. there

Edward Kennedy

4:33:31 to 4:33:45( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: is one difference between them. and that is this: last year we passed a similar amendment in the budget. no legislation was ever brought forth. last year the 10% tax bracket renewal or extension was passed

Edward Kennedy

4:33:45 to 4:33:58( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: unanimously, i believe as part of the budget, the chairman of the finance committee never brought forth legislation to deal with that. and he has advised me this year that there will be no action on

Edward Kennedy

4:33:58 to 4:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the death tax. we're going to have hearings, but there's not going to be any action on the floor. and i suspect that one of the reasons is because of the way that he has approached it. the way the senator

Edward Kennedy

4:34:07 to 4:34:16( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: from colorado has approached it, which is to put the government before the taxpayers to say that before we can do any of this, we have to make sure that the government is made whole, which means

Edward Kennedy

4:34:16 to 4:34:29( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: that we have to find a way to, quote, way for the tax. now, that's the language that's been used here. we have to pay for the tax. and i ask, why should the american taxpayer have to pay for a reduction

Edward Kennedy

4:34:29 to 4:34:41( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: of his own taxes? i mean, if you start with the premise that the american family, the american worker earns money, and we want the american family to keep as much money as possible in their own pocket

Edward Kennedy

4:34:41 to 4:34:55( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: so that they can provide for the needs of their family and in this time of economic downturn, we have even decided that we would put more money in their pocket, urging them to spend it as a way to

Kent Conrad

4:34:55 to 4:35:08( Edit History Discussion )

Kent Conrad: try to stimulate the economy, i would start with the prep that his the money belongs to the taxpayers and we want the taxpayers to keach as much of that money as possible. and if we're going to do

Kent Conrad

4:34:55 to 4:36:36( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Kent Conrad

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