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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4, Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Florida who just spoke said that the Democrats were going to attack this proposal or the pay-for for this proposal by saying that it's an assault on the middle class, and that's exactly what I intend to say.

Unless I misunderstood my colleague from Florida, he seemed to suggest that the health care subsidies, that people who are in this $80,000 or $90,000 income bracket was something that they were not entitled to; I suppose because he thinks that somehow they're too rich. Well, let me tell you, if you have a family of four and you're making $80,000 to $90,000 a year or something like that, certainly in my State of New Jersey but in a lot of parts of the country, it's very difficult for you with a family of four to be able to buy health insurance, to pay your premium, without some help. And that's exactly what we're talking about when we talk about people who are middle class. People who are middle class could be making $25,000 a year, $40,000, $50,000, $80,000, $90,000, $100,000 a year. It's not easy to be able to afford your health premiums if you have a family of four and you're in that income bracket.

I regret what's happening here today, because the bottom line is there was bipartisan agreement on the main goal of repealing this 1099 reporting. Doing away with it is something that the Democrats actually put on the House floor and voted on last session. But what we had during the 111th Congress is a repeal bill that basically was paid for by closing tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas, and we weren't able to get that passed because it was on suspension and only two Republicans joined with us. It was actually endorsed, the pay-for and the bill, by the National Federation of Independent Business, but the Republicans wouldn't support it. There's no question here that we want to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement, but we don't want to pay for it on the backs of the middle class. We should pay for it by closing these loopholes for taxes for companies that take jobs overseas so that we can create more jobs here at home.

I just can't believe what the Republicans are saying. They have this offset that would essentially eliminate protections for middle class families and cost them about $6,000 or more in payments to the IRS. So the average middle class family is either going to have to pay more to the IRS in order to get some kind of benefit on their premium or just decide to go uninsured. The whole point of the Affordable Care Act was to try to deal with those middle class families that can't afford health insurance. If you're very poor now, you get Medicaid. If you're over 65, you get Medicare. But if you're a working person, you can't afford your health insurance a lot of times because what happens is you have to go and buy it on the individual market because your employer simply doesn't provide it. That's these middle class people that we're trying to help with the Affordable Care Act, those that need a little help so that they can afford their premium. And these are the very ones that you're saying, ``No, it's too bad now. We're not going to help you.''

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