The House of Representatives voted 274 to 131 Friday to make the research and development tax credit permanent--and add $155.5 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years.
Republicans, who have consistently complained about deficit spending, nevertheless were nearly unanimous in backing the plan. Only one Republican voted no. Sixty-two Democrats joined those in favor, while 130 voted no.
The R & D credit is part of a broader $310 billion package of tax breaks. More votes are expected in the next few weeks.
“This bill allows business owners to plan for the future, encouraging them to make decisions today that will translate to more jobs and a stronger economy in the future,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
But the White House threatened a veto, and Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, noted “it's not only fiscally irresponsible, it's also hypocritical. It violates the Republican budget itself that requires extenders to be paid for if permanent with other revenue measures.”