Click HERE to listen to Congressman Lucas’ Frankly Speaking provided below:
Recently, I voted for passage of H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which prevented our country from going over the fiscal cliff. While I realize this legislation is not perfect, it was necessary to protect the constituents of Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District and all American taxpayers from what would have been the largest tax hike in history.
This legislation helps provide more certainty to Americans by permanently extending current tax rates for middle class families. This will make tax cuts permanent for 98 percent of America’s taxpayers. Additionally, the legislation provides a permanent patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and holds down the death tax for farmers and ranchers. This permanent tax relief will help lay the groundwork for significant spending cuts and entitlement reforms that will help tackle our national deficit.
Further, this legislation postpones sequestration, preventing harmful spending cuts to our national defense from occurring this month. This will allow time to come up with alternative spending cuts that will not unfairly target the U.S. Department of Defense. In the Third District we have Altus and Vance Air Force bases. Both of these military installments play a vital role in protecting all Americans, and it is critical that we continue to invest in national defense, especially while fighting a war in Afghanistan. I am glad this legislation helps protect all Americans by preventing drastic cuts to defense.
I am also pleased this legislation provides a one year extension of the 2008 farm bill. This gives Oklahoma’s agricultural producers certainty and allows the Agriculture Committees in Congress to continue working on a comprehensive five-year farm bill.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act is a positive step in solving Washington’s spending problem. Now it is important for the president and leaders of Congress to continue to find commonsense ways to significantly cut spending and boost the economy. I can assure my constituents I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to come up with ways to accomplish this and protect hard-working American taxpayers.