The Senate, on its ninth try, finally passed legislation last night to extend a package of renewable energy tax credits. To get it done, Senate Democrats had to remove revenue-raising provisions to mollify GOP senators.
Today, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the package wasn't good enough. The reasoning is the same as it always has been -- that the credits aren't offset by spending reductions elsewhere or a revenue increase -- but as Congress debates a $700 billion unpaid-for bailout, that case becomes hard to make
"While we applaud the Senate for acting yesterday and taking a step toward being fiscally responsible, their bill still falls short of the pay-as-you-go principle that House Democrats have insisted on. The House has already passed responsible legislation this year to extend expiring energy incentives and business tax credits," said Hoyer.
The new version that Democrats are crafting, said Hoyer, would rely on offsets that GOP senators have already endorsed.
"I don’t believe that Senate Republicans who have already gone on record as supporting these offsets would be willing to risk letting these tax benefits expire over their insistence that it be done with borrowed money and by adding to the deficit," said Hoyer. "I expect to bring this new legislation to the House Floor very soon."