Rules Committee Sends Small Business & Employee Tax Relief/Minimum Wage Bill To Floor

Rules Committee Sends Small Business &
Employee Tax Relief/Minimum Wage Bill To Floor

WASHINGTON - The House Rules Committee tonight approved the floor procedures for House consideration of legislation to provide targeted small business and employee tax relief, as well as allowing a vote to increase the minimum wage.

"This is a fair rule that provides for the House to consider targeted small business tax relief and a number of different minimum wage increase proposals," said Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA). "These important tax reforms will provide greater opportunities for workers to save for their retirement future, self-employed workers to deduct their healthcare insurance expenses and allow the creation of community renewal zones. These tax relief measures are important and necessary to mitigate the negative effect on job production caused by raising the minimum wage."

The Committee approved a rule that provides for the separate consideration of H.R. 3081 and H.R. 3846. The tax measures are contained in H.R. 3081, while the minimum wage provisions ($1 increase over three years) are in H.R. 3846. Two amendments dealing with the minimum wage are made in order to H.R. 3846. One amendment removes language from the bill allowing the states flexibility to enact their own minimum wage. Another amendment, offered by the Democrats, provides for a $1 increase in the minimum wage over two years.

The rule provides that if both bills are passed by the House, the two bills will be merged into one bill prior to being sent to the Senate. Further information, including amendment summaries, is available on the Committee's web site at www.house.gov/rules. Dreier said the tax relief bill:

  • increases contribution and benefit limits in 401k plans from $10,000 to $14,000;
  • accelerates the increase in the self-employed health insurance deduction to 100 percent in 2001,
  • reduces the top estate or "death" tax rate from 55% to 50% by 2002 and reduces all rates by 1% per year in 2003 and 2004, to be phased in beginning in 2001;
  • creates 15 new renewal communities (at least 3 must be in rural areas) with targeted, pro-growth tax initiatives to create jobs, encourage personal savings, foster home ownership, and clean up neighborhoods on former industrial sites so new businesses can prosper.