House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, scrapped a vote late Thursday on a plan to prevent tax increases on Americans making under $1 million a year, leading to a fight between Congressional Republicans and several groups favoring smaller government.
Americans for Tax Reform, a group led by Grover Norquist that asks elected officials to pledge not to raise taxes, had said the vote would not violate the pledge to taxpayers since the “sole purpose” of the bill is to prevent tax hikes. The House has already voted to extend all income tax rates.
"When viewed with this in mind, and considering this tax bill contains no tax increases of any kind — in fact, it permanently prevents them — matters become more clear,” ATR tax policy expert Ryan Ellis told The Hill.
All eight current Michigan Republican House of Representative members have pledged to oppose bills that would increase overall taxes. All nine Republican House members from Michigan elected in November have pledged to oppose tax hikes. They are: Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls; Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland; Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township; Dave Camp, R-Midland; Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph; Tim Walberg, R-Tipton; Mike Rogers, R-Brighton; Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township; and Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford.
Two small-government groups had argued against the bill.
"America's coming fiscal crisis is a result of overspending, not under-taxing. Allowing a tax increase to hit a certain segment of Americans and small businesses is not a solution; it is a political ploy,” said Heritage Action, the grassroots arm of the Heritage Foundation.
“On the substance, this bill is anti-growth. It increases tax rates for those making over $1 million while also raising taxes on capital gains and dividends. We don't buy into the Washington-speak, suggesting that these are actually tax cuts,” said the Club For Growth, a free-market advocacy group.
President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate had pledged to reject the bill. Republicans could not garner enough support to bring the so-called "Plan B" up for a vote so Congress recessed for the holiday.