February 2012 Newsletter
Recently, Sen. Levin introduced two pieces of legislation to close unjustified tax loopholes and reduce the budget deficit; welcomed an encouraging new jobs report; joined other Great Lakes lawmakers in highlighting a report on how to protect the lakes from invasive species; supported a measure to reinforce prohibitions on insider trading by members of Congress; and celebrated Michigan's 175th birthday.
Bill closes tax loopholes to reduce the deficit
Sen. Levin joined Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota in introducing the Cut Unjustified Tax (CUT) Loopholes Act, which would reduce the deficit by $155 billion by closing tax loopholes that favor wealthy individuals and corporations, loopholes that raise the tax burden that American families must carry. It would combat offshore tax haven abuse, and close a loophole that subsidizes corporations that grant stock options to their top executives. It would provide more than enough revenue to pay for a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut now in place, or put a significant dent in the deficit reduction we need to avoid draconian automatic cuts now set to begin next year.
Closing loophole would combat harmful speculators
Sen. Levin introduced the Closing the Derivatives Blended Rate Loophole Act, which would end an unjustified tax loophole that promotes speculation in commodities that can raise the prices consumers and businesses pay for energy, food and other materials. This loophole gives a big tax break to those who trade in oil, crops and other commodities, even if they hold onto these investments for a few seconds.
More news from Senator Levin
- Sen. Levin called the January drop in the unemployment rate "phenomenal news."
- As co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, he joined other lawmakers from Great Lakes states in writing federal officials to highlight a report on how to separate the lakes from the Mississippi River watershed, protecting the lakes from invasive species.
- He joined several other senators in helping to craft the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, and guide it to Senate passage.
- In a Senate floor statement, he reflected on the 175th anniversary of Michigan statehood.
- He announced enhanced funding for harbor dredging and maintenance funds in six Michigan communities.
- He issued a statement on planned Air National Guard changes at two Michigan bases, saying Michigan would retain a vital and enduring role in national defense.
- He chaired a hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, looking into whether mutual funds are skirting prohibitions on trading in commodities.
- He supported final passage of a bill to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration programs, saying the bill would create jobs in Michigan and protect Essential Air Service flights to several Michigan communities.