CEI Signs Coalition Letter Opposing Lame Duck Tax Extenders

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Dear Members of Congress:

On behalf of our organizations and the millions of Americans we represent, we write to express our support for passing legislation providing funds for the federal government into 2017 — outside of lame duck session. We also encourage you to oppose efforts to use this upcoming spending legislation as a vehicle to extend the set of tax provisions set to expire at the end of the year. Congress faces a test upon returning from August recess.

Determining how to fund the government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30 will reveal how serious lawmakers are about addressing our nation’s fiscal problems. History shows that end-of-year legislative packages are routinely rushed through Congress and to the President’s desk under the threat of a government shutdown—too fast for lawmakers and the taxpayers footing the bill to determine what is in them.

This prevents elected officials from examining how taxpayer dollars are being spent and making important decisions about budgeting and spending. This limits Americans’ ability to hold them accountable—particularly retiring and defeated members of Congress who face no future elections but are part of lame duck session decision making. These important decisions should be made by lawmakers who are accountable to voters.

Lame duck bills also provide lawmakers with the opportunity to bury pet-projects and corporate welfare. The omnibus passed last year is a prime example: It was used to extend and expand billions in subsidies to politically favored industries at taxpayer expense.

Congress already considered the matter of expiring tax provisions a little under a year ago. The $680 billion package signed into law last December made some of these items permanent and allowed more than two dozen others to expire at the end of 2015, laying the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform. Included in the nearly $20 billion in tax provisions that are set to expire are provisions pertaining to small-scale wind power, geothermal heat pumps, race horses, film production—provisions that distort our tax laws and narrowly benefit favored industries over the rest of the tax base. These provisions were made temporary for a reason. It makes no sense to come back just one year later and selectively extend certain provisions in a lame duck.

Congress must provide government funding beyond a lame duck session and allow temporary tax provisions to expire as lawmakers decided last year.

Taking these two important steps will save taxpayers billions and demonstrate seriousness about fiscal responsibility and pursuing fair, comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Thank you for your consideration.

Brent Gardner, Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

Dick Ribbentrop, Senior Vice President, Policy
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Daniel Garza, Executive Director
The LIBRE Initiative

Andrew Clark, President
Generation Opportunity

Dan Caldwell, Vice President for Political and Legislative Action
Concerned Veterans for America

Jim Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association

Sean Noble, President
American Encore

Peter J. Thomas, Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty

Richard Manning, President
Americans for Limited Government

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., President and CEO
Cause of Action Institute

Jim Backlin, Vice President for Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America

Marita Noon, Executive Director
Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE)

Michael J. Bowen, CEO
Coalition For a Strong America

Stephani Scruggs, COO
Coalition For a Strong America

Myron Ebell, Director, Center for Energy and Environment
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Craig Richardson, Executive Director
Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal)

Marita Noon, Executive Director
Energy Makes America Great

Timothy Head, Executive Director
Faith & Freedom Coalition

Paul Caprio, Director
Family PAC Federal

Brent Bozell, Chairman

Tom McCabe, CEO
Freedom Foundation

Adam Brandon, President and CEO

Andresen Blom, Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action, Inc.

Tim Macy, Chairman
Gun Owners of America

Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty

Seton Motley, President
Less Government

Amy Ridenour, Chairman
National Center for Public Policy Research

Willes K. Lee, President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Derrick Hollie, President
Reaching America

Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation

Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots

Morton Blackwell, Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch