WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today again expressed strong disappointment with the Senate Democrats regarding their decision to continue to delay important tax legislation by choosing to place partisan politics ahead of working together to pass the bill. Today the United States Senate rejected a procedural motion for the second time in two weeks to move to the bill. The vote failed by a vote of 52-44.
"The Democrats' decision to continue to place partisan politics above the good of the country is simply inexcusable," Senator Inhofe said. "By bringing this bill up for a vote for the second time in two weeks, without making any effort to compromise, Democrats have shown they are more concerned about attempting to score political points than working to provide relief to the American people. Today as American families are increasingly facing economic uncertainty, it is irresponsible to short-change this important tax relief. It is my hope that we come together and quickly enact tax extender provisions and an AMT patch that take a real step toward relieving some of the economic burdens shouldered by American families.
"Oklahoma can do better than the legislation put forward by Democrats. When the Senate finally gets serious about passing a tax bill, I will work to have it include two of my provisions that would extend the Indian lands depreciation provision, which provides incentives to invest in Oklahoma, and the suspension of the net income limitation for energy produced from marginal wells. As Oklahomans appreciate, it is the small independents producing the majority of oil and natural gas, with 85 percent of Oklahoma's oil coming from marginal wells. Because marginal wells supply such a significant amount of our oil and gas, accounting for nearly 20 percent of total oil production in the United States, it is vital we keep them in operation with important tax extenders legislation, and it is unacceptable this provision was not included in the Democrats' bill."
Senator Inhofe has co-sponsored an alternative version of the bill (S.3098) that provides greater tax relief for hard-working Oklahomans and Americans. The bill would extend these important provisions for two years, instead of one, and provides an AMT patch, all without offsetting tax increases. Senator Inhofe has consistently worked to extend the Indian employment credit, depreciation rules for property within former reservations lands in Oklahoma (S. 176), and eliminate the taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal wells (S. 905). The Senate Democrat package only contains two of these provisions particularly beneficial to Oklahoma. The Senate Republican package cosponsored by Senate Inhofe contains all provisions beneficial to Oklahoma and extends them longer than the Senate Democrat package. In addition, the Senate Republican tax extenders package includes items such as extension of the deduction for state and local sales taxes, extension of the deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses, extension of the research and development tax credit, and extension of the renewable energy tax credit used by utilities such as OG&E, which is in the process of quadrupling the company's wind power production over the next four years to a capacity of 770 megawatts.
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