Heather Wilson Supported Budget-Busting Bush Tax Cuts; Now She Wants to “Stay the Course”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 12 2012
CONTACT: Matt Ross (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM – Republican Senate candidate Heather Wilson claims she supports fiscal responsibility, but her voting record says otherwise. During her 10 years in Congress, Wilson voted numerous times to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires at the expense of New Mexico’s middle class families.
“Heather Wilson voted for every single round of the Bush Tax Cuts,” said Javier Gonzales, Chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “New Mexicans have seen the results of Wilson's tax breaks for the rich--a crippled economy and a mountain of debt. We simply cannot afford to go back to her failed economic policies.”
Heather Wilson voted for the Bush Tax Cuts in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Instead of supporting job growth, Wilson’s votes ballooned the federal deficit and added more than $1.6 trillion dollars to the national debt. Now, Wilson has joined the Republican chorus calling for the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest Americans to be made permanent.
The Bush Tax Cuts weren’t the only times Heather Wilson put special interests ahead of middle class families. She consistently voted against raising the minimum wage for hard working Americans, while voting to increase her own congressional salary six times.
Unlike Wilson, Democrat Martin Heinrich has always supported ending the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich. Furthermore, while Wilson was voting against raising the minimum wage, Heinrich was leading the fight to increase it as a member of the Albuquerque City Council. “One thing is clear, Wilsons’ priorities are wrong for New Mexico's middle class and those trying to reach it,” said Gonzales.
Wilson Consistently Supported Bush-Era Tax Cuts That Overwhelmingly Benefited Millionaires. In 2001,Wilson supported President Bush’s first round of tax cuts. In 2003, Wilson supported another round of tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy. In 2004, Wilson supported President Bush’s budget that permanently locked in multitrillion-dollar tax breaks that mostly benefit the nation’s wealthiest. In 2005, Wilson backed a Republican bill that extended capital gains and dividend tax breaks for the rich. And in 2006 Wilson backed another Republican tax break package that the Washington Post dubbed a “windfall for the rich, and a hole in the federal budget.” [HR 1836, Vote 149, 5/26/01; HR 2, Vote 225, 5/23/03; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/28/03; H Con Res 393, Vote 92, 3/25/04; Vote 621,12/8/05; Chicago Tribune, 12/9/05; HR4297, Vote 135, 5/10/06; Washington Post, 5/11/06]
Wilson Voted For $350 Billion Tax Cut For The Rich While Giving 50 Million Households Nothing. In 2003, Wilson voted for an irresponsible tax cut package that deepened the nation’s fiscal crisis and left middle-income households out in the cold. Some 53 percent of all U.S. households — or 74 million — will receive a tax cut of $100 or less in 2003 from the bill. Additionally, 36 percent of households — or 50 million — will receive no tax cut whatsoever in 2003, while tax filers who make $1 million or more per year will receive an average tax cut in 2003 of $93,500. The bill passed 231-200. [HR 2, Vote 225, 5/23/03; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/28/03]
Wilson Supported Bush’s 2004 Multitrillion-Dollar Tax Breaks for Wealthy. In March 2004, Wilson supported Bush’s budget that permanently locked in multitrillion-dollar tax breaks that mostly benefit the nation’s wealthiest. According to the AFL-CIO, “To finance these taxes cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the Republican budget resolution—which mirrored Bush’s proposal—inflated the record-high $477 billion U.S. deficit and by $120 billion shortchanged or cut funds for the domestic programs working families need most—from job creation to health care, transportation and education.” [H Con Res 393, Vote #92, 3/25/04; 2004 AFL-CIO Scorecard]
Wilson Supported GOP Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Cut Extension For the Wealthy. In December 2005, Wilson voted “to approve a $56 billion measure to extend capital gains and dividend tax cuts for another two years, until 2010. The extension would leave the tax rate on investment gains at 15 percent. Republicans said the tax bill was an important way to maintain investor confidence, encourage job creation and continue economic growth. Democrats, however, said that the GOP majority cut vital social programs for poor women and children in order to spend billions on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.” [Vote #621, 12/8/05; Chicago Tribune, 12/9/05]
Wilson Supported $70 Billion Tax Cut Bill that Benefits the Wealthiest Americans. In 2006, Wilson voted in favor of a $70 billion tax cut bill. The bill extended the Bush tax breaks on capital gains and dividends for two years. The Washington Post called the bill a “windfall for the rich, and a hole in the federal budget.” According to a study by the Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, Middle-income households would receive an average tax cut of $20, while the 0.2 percent of households with incomes over $1 million would get average tax cuts of $42,000. The Washington Post wrote that, “This Congress and administration are putting the nation deeper and deeper in debt to benefit a sliver of the population that doesn’t need the help. Someone’s going to have to pay for these deficit-financed tax cuts eventually, and it’s likely to be your grandchildren.” The bill passed 244-185. [Washington Post, 5/11/06; HR4297, Vote 135, 5/10/06]
Wilson Said Tax Cuts Created Jobs. In 2006, Wilson touted the success of the Bush tax cuts and claimed that they were responsible for the creation of five million jobs since 2003. She said, “Tax relief has helped launch strong economic growth, and led to the creation of five million jobs since August 2003. The best way to help New Mexico families is to let them keep more of their money in their pockets.” [Wilson Release, 4/13/06]
Bush tax cuts contributed about $1.629 trillion to our deficit. This is even before calculating the interest costs on the debt incurred. [CBO, 6/7/12]
Wilson Voted Against Raising The Minimum Wage Six Times. In 2006 and 2007, Wilson voted six times against minimum wage increases or to kill Democratic attempts to even be allowed to offer a minimum wage increase. [CQ Floor Votes; HR 2206, Vote 333, 5/10/07; CQ House Action Reports, No. 110-3, 3/20/07; HR 1591, Vote 186, 3/23/07; Leadership Document, “Democrats are Fighting for a New Direction: A Pay Raise for Millions of Americans,” 7/19/06; HR2389, Vote 382, 7/19/06; HR2990, Vote#364, 7/12/06; HR4411, Vote 360, 7/11/06; HR5672, Vote 319, 6/27/06]
Wilson Voted Six Times To Allow Congressional Pay Raises. In the House, Wilson voted six times to allow her own salary to increase. [CQ Floor Votes, 6/13/06; H RES 865, Vote #261, 6/13/06; CQ Floor Votes, 6/28/05; HR 342, Vote #327, 6/28/05; CQ Floor Votes, 9/14/04; H Res 770, Vote #451, 9/14/04; CQ Floor Votes, 9/04/03; H. Res. 351, Vote #463, 9/4/03; CQ Floor Votes, 7/18/02; H. Res. 488, Vote #322, 7/18/02; CQ Floor Votes, 7/25/01; H Res. 206, Vote #267, 7/25/01]
Heinrich Led the Fight To Raise The Minimum Wage On The Albuquerque City Council. On April 20, 2006, the Albuquerque City Council approved a phased-in minimum wage increase by a 6-3 vote. The ordinance (COUNCIL BILL NO. O-06-20), sponsored by then City Councilor Martin Heinrich, was enacted on April 27, 2006. [Albuquerque Official City Website, “Minimum Wage to Increase 31% on January 1, 2007”]
Heinrich Urges Vote to Make Middle-Class Tax Cuts Permanent. On September 27, 2010, Martin Heinrich released a letter he signed with 45 other House members to then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urging that the Congress vote on permanent tax cuts for the middle-class before adjournment in October 2010. The letter also called on the Speaker for a vote to allow the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans to expire, using the additional revenue to close the federal budget deficit. [09/27/2010, Heinrich Letter]
Tax Cuts: Heinrich Fights For The Middle Class. Heinrich voted for H.R. 6467, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, aimed at permanently extending the 2001 and 2003 income tax cuts for families making $250,000 or less and individuals making $200,000 or less. [12/02/2010, Roll no. 604]