Congressman Tony Cardenas

Representing the 29th District of California
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CÁRDENAS LEADS DEFENSE OF MORTGAGE INTEREST TAX DEDUCTION

Mar 14, 2013
Press Release
Republicans vote overwhelmingly against amendment protecting largest middle-class deduction

Thursday, March 14, 2013

 

CÁRDENAS LEADS DEFENSE OF MORTGAGE INTEREST TAX DEDUCTION
Republicans vote overwhelmingly against amendment protecting largest middle-class deduction

 

(Washington, DC) -- During Wednesday’s hearing of the House Budget Committee, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) introduced an amendment protecting the most important tax deduction for middle class Americans, the mortgage interest deduction.

The Cárdenas amendment would have prevented any reduction in the mortgage interest deduction that working families can take on their income tax returns.

Shockingly, the amendment was rejected along party lines, failing with 22 Republicans voting no.

Following an attack on his amendment by Republican Rep. Tom Price, Cárdenas spoke to members of the Budget Committee, “Earlier, you asked the question, ‘what do some of us have against millionaires?’ and I’ll say it again, I have nothing against millionaires but therefore, the question before us is, what do you have against the middle class?”

Cárdenas’ amendment, if it had not failed, would have changed the Ryan budget to express the belief of committee members that the mortgage interest deduction should remain untouched for middle class families.

Deductions for mortgage interest have been part of the income tax code since it began one hundred years ago.

Below is a link to Rep. Cárdenas’ remarks in support of his amendment and a transcript of those remarks:

Video of Cárdenas’ remarks -- http://youtu.be/qdUeCgb4GZk

Remarks of Congressman Tony Cárdenas
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
House Committee on the Budget

Let’s all commit to preserve the mortgage interest deduction for the middle class.

If you’ll look at the screen, you’ll see how many middle class Americans take advantage of this wonderful deduction. The mortgage interest deduction is the largest deduction used by blue collar working families in this country. This deduction is the gateway to the American Dream of homeownership for our working families.

I think it’s important for us to understand, the housing industry is already struggling with 21 percent unemployment rate among construction workers. Homeownership benefits not only the individual homeowner, but it’s an economic engine that is always in every single forecast when we talk about the progress of this country.

Take this deduction away from American working families and we postpone our economic recovery. I appeal to my Republican colleagues to support this amendment. Isn’t your motto, “I’ve never seen a tax deduction I didn’t like?” Let’s all support this.

Thank you.

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Thank you very much.

I appreciate that statement, but I don’t understand the perspective.

Earlier, colleagues, you were defending people who tend to be millionaires who have tax deductions within the current code and you asked the questions, ‘what do some of us have against millionaires?’ and I’ll say it again, I have nothing against millionaires but therefore the question before us is, what do you have against the middle class?

When you looked at that chart; the people who take advantage of this the most are the middle class. Every single person who has ever run for office in this country has always talked about the American Dream. Included in that American Dream is homeownership.

This is the biggest deduction that any middle class family ever takes when they do their taxes, every single year. I’m hoping you can support it. Yes, Ways and Means or other committees might handle this, but there’s nothing wrong with us making a statement and moving it forward. Thank you very much.

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