Oct. 8, 2004 – The House passed a tax bill Thursday that provides massive tax breaks to manufacturing companies, energy producers and small businesses.
The billâ€™s original intent was to end illegal tax subsidies for US exporters. However, the final version also includes the tax breaks and a $10 billion buyout of tobacco farmers over the next decade to fund retirement, new crops and equipment.
"It's Christmas in October for multinational companies and lobbyists with friends in high places," Charles B. Rangel (D-New York) told the Washington Post.
The final version also did not include a Senate-approved plan that would have given the Food and Drug Administration the right to regulate the tobacco industry. A provision blocking the Bush administrationâ€™s new overtime rules was also removed.
The bill will now go to the Senate, where the Post reports speedy approval is likely, despite the vows of senators like Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) who said any bill without provisions to regulate the tobacco industry will pass "over my dead body."