Kathy Castor comes out in support of Tax cut compromise plan promoted by President Obama

“Students get real help too. Under this plan, we are extending for two years the American Opportunity Tax Credit to help students and their families afford the high cost of college. Last year, more than 600,000 Florida families benefited from this credit.

“Upwards of 9 million hardworking Floridians will benefit from President Obama’s tax cut plan. A family that makes about $40,000 a year would get about $800 back in their pockets, money that could be invested directly back into our local community.

“This plan also will spur job growth by providing important relief to business owners for expansion and job creation. Other vital tax credits also will be available to businesses to support their growth. Our businesses need our help so they can create and retain jobs.

“In addition to helping businesses, we are extending unemployment benefits, which provide an important lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Floridians and their families. Tampa has the fifth-highest unemployment rate among large metropolitan areas, and these unemployment benefits could help more than 150,000 Tampa Bay area residents.

“Having unemployment benefits means Floridians will be better able to afford groceries, pay doctor bills and keep up with their mortgage payments. The added advantage of extending unemployment is that we will boost the overall economy and local businesses because studies have shown that for every $1 spent on unemployment insurance, economic activity increases by about $2.

“Bottom line, the very real benefits for middle-class families and creating jobs in our economy are the most important outcomes of the Obama tax cuts. President Obama has demonstrated a constructive way forward for Republicans and Democrats to work together. We also have identified what is important to each party. Republicans were unwavering in their effort to maintain tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans notwithstanding burgeoning deficits, and Democrats are compromising to ensure that middle-class families will have more in their paychecks and our unemployed neighbors receive the benefits they need to maintain dignity until they find work.”

(UPDATE: The House voted around midnight Thursday night to pass the $858 billion tax cut plan 277 to 148). Congressional Democrats have been up in arms over the past two weeks, angry at President Obama and/or Congressional Republicans for the tax cut plan negotiated between the President and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, which keeps the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in effect for the next two years.

But as other commentators have noted, it's not the worst deal that the Democrats got out of it.  But while many Democrats blasted the bill (and some blasted the President for not getting a better deal), Tampa area Democrat Kathy Castor has remained pretty quiet - at least with Cl, who contacted the Congresswoman's office over a week ago to learn her feelings.

But on Thursday night, before the House has actually voted on the legislation, Congresswoman Castor released a statement in support of the plan, with a lot of emphasis on the "good " parts of the bill that Democrats like, especially the point that allows for unemployment benefits for the next 13 months.

“I fought for tax cuts so hardworking families will have more money in their paychecks and improved prospects for a better economy. I am pleased businesses will receive vital relief as well.

“President Obama’s tax cut plan will help Floridians and create jobs in many ways. Under this plan, we are extending the $1,000 child tax credit. This provision was set to expire at the end of the year, but we fought to expand it because it truly helps middle-class families.

“We are also extending for two years the improvements made to the Earned Income Tax Credit – a tax credit that truly helps our low-income families and that I had championed as a Hillsborough County commissioner. This means, on average, an additional $600 for working families with three or more children.

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