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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3463, Terminating Presidential Election Campaign Fund and Election Assistance Commission; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 527, Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011; and Providing for Consideration of H.R.

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. Madam Speaker, as we stand here today, I would like us to pause for a moment and think about an American family who is not here. The husband works in a Home Depot, the wife works as an administrative assistant in a hospital, and they make together about $50,000 a year. And they're among the fortunate Americans who have jobs, but they're frankly very worried because it seems like the harder they work, the less ground they gain. They're going backwards the harder they work.

The House needs to understand that a month from tomorrow, unless this House acts, that family's taxes will rise by $1,000. A month from tomorrow,
unless the House and the other body and the President act, that family's taxes will go up by $1,000 a year.
President Obama has said he will sign legislation that prevents that tax increase from happening. The Democratic leader of the other body, Senator Reid, has said he will move and support legislation that prevents that from happening.

Last night the minority leader, the Republican leader of the other body, indicated that he was now moving to a position in favor of legislation preventing that from happening. House Democrats are prepared at this moment on this bill, on this day, to support legislation that will postpone that tax increase on middle class families.

The American people want us to work together, and I would trust that the vast majority of American people would say that in these economic times working together to suspend a thousand-dollar tax increase on a $50,000-a-year family is something we ought to work together on. President Obama agrees. Senator Reid agrees. It looks like Senator McConnell agrees. Leader Pelosi and the House Democrats agree. But we don't have that bill on the floor this afternoon.

This is our opportunity, colleagues, to move away from the daily back-and-forth of Republican versus Democrat politics and do something for which there is broad agreement and, I think, urgent need.

Now, we have 30 days to get this done, and our track record is not very promising on meeting deadlines around here. My suggestion is let's move this agenda on this day at this time and put before the House a bill that would suspend this thousand-dollar tax increase on middle class families, all wage earners, across the country. Certainly this is something on which we ought to agree, certainly this is something the House should be able to devote its time to, and certainly we should act on it here today.

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Mr. ANDREWS. I would just ask the gentleman, then, if he is prepared to tell us whether the majority will put on this floor before the 31st of December a bill that suspends this tax increase on middle class Americans.

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Mr. ANDREWS. I am most certainly not in favor of that. I would frankly make up for the lost revenue with a surtax on people making more than a million dollars a year to cover it.

Let me ask the gentleman another question.

I understand that there are differing views in his party, and frankly ours, as to whether an extension of the cut for middle class families should continue. And I'm not asking him to say it would pass. That's beyond the reach of any Member, even the Speaker.

But is the majority prepared to make a commitment to the American people to at least get to vote on it, that it will let the majority work its will and either vote ``yes'' or ``no'' on avoiding this tax increase on middle class Americans?

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Mr. ANDREWS. Those income tax reductions, of course, were extended to December 31 of 2012. So there's not an urgent imminence to addressing that issue the way there is with this.

I would just again put the question this way. I fully understand there are different views as to whether or not we should avoid this middle class tax increase. I'm simply asking whether the gentleman supports giving us a clear up-down vote on having that happen.

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Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend from Georgia for engaging in good spirit in this dialogue.

I would simply want to make it clear: I think it's the position of our party very clearly the House should vote on whether to avoid this thousand-dollar tax increase on the middle class. That's our position.
I think you can hear that the majority position is a little more nuanced than that. It is a yes-or-no question. We think there ought to be a vote on avoiding a thousand-dollar tax increase on the middle class. And we're ready to put our cards in the machine and do that.

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