The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate both approved budget resolutions on April 2. The Coalition on Human Needs is asking people who care about reforming health care, improving education and reducing poverty to thank their members of the House and Senate if they voted in favor of the budget resolutions that passed. (The House passed its budget by a vote of 233-196, and the Senate passed its version by 55-43.)
The basic thrust of many of the tax policies embodied in the budget resolutions mirror the President's proposals. Both resolutions assume the extension of the Bush income tax cuts for everyone except taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 (or $250,000 for married couples). Taxpayers above these thresholds are affected by the top two income tax rates, which would revert to 36 and 39.6 percent. Both resolutions would extend the "AMT patch," a measure that increases the exemptions from the Alternative Minimum Tax to ensure that most taxpayers are not affected by it.
On certain key issues (like the estate tax) the Senate made some poor choices that will hopefully not be reflected in the final budget resolution the House and Senate will have to approve sometime after they return from their recess on April 20. For more details, see last week's Digest articles on the federal budget.