“It’s just not the way to do business,” said Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), the committee’s ranking member.
Levin responded by saying many of the bill’s provisions had been vetted and voted on. They were included the so-called tax extenders bill that the House took up before the July 4 recess.
“It isn’t legitimate, in my judgment, to say this is a surprise,” he said, adding that staffers could dissect the bill in “about 15 minutes” since many of its provisions had already been presented before the committee.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said members on her side of the aisle would have to trust Levin that there were no surprises in the bill since they had very little time to review it.
“We have to take your word for it,” she said.
Foxx strongly hinted that the bill was being brought forward to help Democrats politically in campaigning for reelection over the August break, which is slated to begin in two days. She also asked why the bill could not be brought forward after the House returns in September.
Levin replied that bill extends emergency spending measures that expire Sept. 30.
“If we don’t vote on it now, they won’t have the money,” he said. “We come back September 15th. We should act now.”
The bill, Investing in American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, is a part of Democrats’ “Make it in America” agenda that seeks to bolster the country’s manufacturing sector.
The legislation includes an extension to Build America Bonds, new market tax credits and Recovery Zone Bonds. It also extends emergency assistance to programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, slated to expire Sept. 30.
The bill is paid for in large part by closing $11.6 billion in foreign tax credits.
The original intent of the tax credits was to ensure against double taxation. But Levin in the past has stated that these credits have been abused by companies to reduce their tax burden by using them to offset unrelated foreign income.