Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, a strong supporter of research and development (R&D), today voted against a House Republican bill (HR 4438) that refused to fund R&D. With their bill, House Republicans opted to move forward with a political ploy that jeopardizes the continuation of a number of tax cuts that American families depend upon—including the deduction of out-of-pocket classroom expenses for teachers, the Indian Employment Tax Credit, mortgage debt relief for homeowners, deductions for mass transit benefits, and renewable energy tax credits. Traditionally, these tax credits are passed together as part of an annual extender package that is compliant with House PAYGO rules, a rule Luján supports. By passing this legislation separately and without a budgetary offset, Republicans are neglecting to continue other important tax cuts while increasing the deficit. Furthermore, Republicans are refusing to pass a needed extension of emergency unemployment benefits without an offset—while passing today’s legislation which is fifteen times more expensive to the national debt.
Luján, has long supported the Research and Development tax credit, which drives innovative new industries for New Mexico. As a cochair of the Technology Transfer Caucus—which promotes moving technological innovations to the marketplace—he has been a strong advocate for R&D. Additionally he authored a bill on Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) to help foster relationships between businesses and national laboratories, which are often involved in R&D-related work. Luján also supported a budget that makes the R&D tax credit permanent, closing tax loopholes to offset the costs.
“As an advocate for the R&D tax credit and a supporter of a permanent extension of R&D, I cosponsored the original version of this bill,” Rep. Luján said. “However, the bill that was brought to the House floor today is the first of 6 House Republican piecemeal bills that they refuse to pay for–selling R&D short, adding $156 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, and putting other critical programs at risk.
“This unfunded political ploy has far reaching and disastrous implications because it could risk funding for Medicare, social security, and education–and it also does not include extensions of the tax credits that families depend on.
“It is time for us to come together to support real Research and Development that provides for economic growth and job creation. I believe that New Mexicans deserve a more responsible and effective approach that supports innovation without balancing the books on our middle class families, seniors, teachers, and students.”