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Hagan pushes to keep tax credits for military families

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has urged the Senate Finance Committee to keep the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit as it decides which tax breaks to eliminate. Hagan wrote to committee leaders to draw attention to how the tax credits help military families.

“I want to see them preserved for all families, but because there are so many current and former military families in North Carolina, I really wanted to raise this particular issue with (Senate Finance Committee) chairman (Max) Baucus and (senior Republican Sen. Orrin) Hatch,” Hagan, a Democrat from Greensboro, said in an interview on Tuesday..

“I’ve looked at what these military families have gone through. In the last 10 years we’ve asked more and more of our soldiers and their families.”

And for that reason, eliminating the tax credits would be wrong, she said. Hagan and nine other senators argued in a letter that the two tax credits keep more than 140,000 military families from falling below the poverty line, and help an additional 800,000 people in military families who now live in poverty.

Stricter abortion amendment fails

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday blocked an amendment that would restrict insurance companies’ ability to pay for abortion coverage for women.

The vote, a procedural move, was to table, or set aside, the amendment, Barb Barrett reports. It passed 54-45, meaning the amendment won’t come back up again.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, voted yes; Sen. Richard Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, voted no.

Federal law currently prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.

But the amendment, by U.S. Sens. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska, and Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, would go further — prohibiting any insurance company that participates in a federal exchange program from covering abortions.

Nelson has said he will not support any final health reform bill that does not include his language. It is nearly identical to the language put forth by U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, in the House’s reform bill.

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