Bush tax cuts. In the ad, Hirono claims that she is “the only candidate who opposed Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy”. “That’s false”, said Case. “I voted against them as Congressman and have publicly stated on several occasions that I oppose their extension. I say again: they were and are unfair, unnecessary and unaffordable.
“Both Mazie and I had some very specific votes to extend them because they were part of bills to also extend middle class tax relief and, in my case, to eliminate the marriage penalty and extend the food stamp program. Mazie can’t have her cake and eat it too on this claim.
“In any event, there’s no real difference between us on our records and positions. The real opponent here is Lingle, who has always supported tax cuts for the wealthy and has never proposed a way to pay for them and fix our federal budget.
Iraq. In the ad, Hirono claims that she “always opposed the Iraq war.” “Of course, because Mazie didn’t join Congress until ’07, she never had to take a position or cast a tough vote on Iraq until well after most Americans, myself included, believed that our intervention was a mistake,” said Case. “But even then her claim is false: she voted repeatedly to continue spending on the Iraq war.”
Case was not a Member of Congress when the vote to authorize intervention in Iraq was taken in October ’02. However, as a candidate for Congress in late ’02, he said then that based on what he knew, including the Bush administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, he probably would have voted for the resolution, as did a majority of then-Senate Democrats including Senators Clinton, Biden, Daschle, Kerry, Reid and Schumer. “Had I known then that there were no WMD in Iraq, I would not have voted for the resolution,” said Case.
Obama/Democrats. In her ad, Hirono says she is “working with President Obama” as a Democrat. “But she certainly didn’t work with President Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan, where she repeatedly voted against the President and a majority of congressional Democrats to defund Iraq and Afghanistan (despite her other votes to continue funding) and to implement a unilateral, unconditional and deadline-specific withdrawal”, said Case.
“Although we should not have intervened in Iraq when and how we did, to cut and run as Mazie voted would have been irresponsible and would have created a far worse situation. Afghanistan was necessary and to cut and run there as Mazie voted was similarly exactly the wrong judgment. In both cases President Obama and most Democrats including me saw it much differently and, I believe, correctly.”
“Bottom line: the ad is both false and misleading. It also doesn’t focus on what voters in ’12, not ’02 or ’10, want to know, which is who can get the job done over the next generation on the challenges of today and tomorrow, like growing our economy and fixing DC. I’m ready to discuss any of this with Mazie out on the campaign trail around Hawai’i when she is.”
(Some of the actual votes of Case and Hirono on the ad claims are below.)
Selected Case Votes on Bush Tax Cuts
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA). One of two laws making up the “Bush tax cuts” (along with EGTRRA, adopted in ’01 before Case was elected to Congress). Case voted no.
Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004. Extended several provisions of JGTRRA set to expire at the end of 2004, including the accelerated marriage penalty tax relief and child tax credit, and extended the basic exemption for the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Case voted yes, along with a majority of Democrats.
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. Extended the dividend and capital gains tax reductions and further extended the AMT fix. Case voted against the House version as too expansive and unaffordable but for the final version, which was paid for.
Selected Hirono Votes on Bush Tax Cuts
2008 Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Substitute. Assumed extension of several provisions of the Bush tax cuts. Hirono voted for; not adopted and opposed by most Democrats.
2011 Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Substitute. Proposed to fix the AMT and maintain marriage penalty relief, both part of the Bush tax cuts. Hirono voted for; not adopted and opposed by most Democrats.
Selected Hirono Votes on Funding Iraq and Afghanistan
Voted for House Democratic 2007 budget resolution, which included $145.2 billion of “emergency” funding in FY 2008 for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and another $50 billion in FY 2009. (2007, Vote 377)
Voted for 2007 emergency supplemental that appropriated $124.2 billion, 77% of which was for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. (2007, Vote 265)
Voted for House version of the FY2008 defense authorization, which included $189.4 billion in emergency supplemental funds specifically to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the general war on terrorism. (2007, Vote 1151)
Voted for FY2008 defense authorization, which included $189.4 billion in emergency supplemental funds specifically to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the general war on terrorism. (2008, vote 11)
Voted for 2008 House Democratic budget resolution, which matched the President’s $70 billion FY 2009 request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (2008, vote 141)
Selected Hirono Votes on Withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan
2007 – HCONRES 99. Called for Iraq troop withdrawal. Final vote: 81 – 340; Hirono Y.
2008 – 2008 – H.AMDT. 971. Called for Iraq troop withdrawal. Final vote: 98 – 322; Hirono Y.
(President Obama announced his Afghanistan surge-phased withdrawal policy in early ’09.)
2009 – HCONRES 85. Called for Iraq troop withdrawal. Final vote: 84 – 348; Hirono Y.
2010 -HR 4899 (Amendment 4). Called for Iraq troop withdrawal. Final vote: 100-321; Hirono Y.
2011 – H.AMDT.93 (No. 232). To limit use of funds for U. S. military operations in Afghanistan. Final vote: 98 – 331; Hirono Y.
2011 – H.AMDT.257 (No 3). Progressive Caucus substitute budget amendment to in part withdraw from Afghanistan. Final vote: 83 – 334; Hirono Y.