Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, participated in the Senate Finance Committee’s business meeting to markup the tax extenders bill.

A copy of Sen. Carper's opening statement, as prepared for delivery, follows:

“Mr. Chairman and Senator Hatch, let me begin by thanking you and your staff members for all of your hard work that went into crafting this extenders package and for holding this markup today. Every year, Congress faces the question of which tax extenders to continue—and for how long. Unfortunately, most of the time, we do so retroactively.

“This situation is unacceptable. Families and businesses need predictability when it comes to making planning decisions for the upcoming year—not to mention, future years—and tax planning is an important part of that. So, I strongly support the two-year extension in this bill. This legislation provides at least some certainty to families and businesses who sorely need it. And, it shows we can govern and work together on a bipartisan basis to get things done.

“But, I strongly support moving forward with broader tax reform. Of course, I’m mindful of the fact that tax reform is unlikely to happen anytime this year. Still, I’m hopeful that this tax extenders package can serve as a “bridge” to tax reform—helping to provide some clarity for taxpayers even as we wait for the right moment to move forward on tax reform in earnest.

“I support many of the important provisions included in this bill – especially the clean energy provisions. In particular, I want to say thank you for including the extension of the wind production and investment tax credits with the commence construction language. Extending the investment tax credit is critical for the startup of the offshore wind industry in this country.

“I believe we can still do better, which is why I have filed two energy amendments that I want to work with the chairman and ranking member in the future. The first amendment, which I have joined with Senators Brown, Cardin, and Menendez, extends the investment tax credit to the projects that generate the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind in this country. This amendment mirrors legislation I introduced last year with Senator Collins, and it provides far more certainty to an industry that’s just beginning in this country.

“My second energy amendment, joined by Senators Cardin and Warner, fixes language from the 2008 extenders package, by clearly stating waste heat to power technology is eligible for investment tax credits. Transforming wasted heat to power reduces emissions, conserves energy and saves industry money in the long run. It’s a win-win-win situation. Due to technical errors, though, this technology cannot receive investment tax credits. This is an easy fix, and I hope we can address it.

“We also need to reform the R&D tax credits, and I have filed amendments that I hope can be worked out in the future. Private investment in R&D is the lifeblood of innovation; however, the current R&D credit is too small, too complicated, poorly targeted, and not accessible to some research companies. The amendments I’ve introduced would boost private research spending by increasing the value of the R&D credit, by simplifying the credit, by encouraging more collaborative R&D projects between different research companies, and by incentivizing high-value research that’s truly revolutionary.

“Again, my thanks to you, Mr. Chairman and to Senator Hatch. I look forward to our talking further about these and other proposals later on and to working with my colleagues to ensure we can report this legislation out of committee and then move it through the Congress and on to the president for his signature.”