Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, with our economy struggling and unemployment remaining unacceptably high, now is not the time to take more money out of the pockets of hardworking Americans.
The majority is opposing an extension of the payroll tax holiday, enacted earlier this year, that gave virtually all working Americans a much-needed tax cut. The payroll tax holiday cut the Social Security payroll taxes of over 160 million workers. Economic uncertainty both here in the U.S. and abroad makes this a dangerous time to eliminate an important tax cut that is saving American families an average of $1,000 a year. Failing to extend the payroll tax holiday will raise taxes on millions of Americans, taking over $120 billion out of the pockets of consumers and out of the economy. In addition, failing to extend the unemployment insurance to those who have lost their jobs will take an additional $30 billion out of the economy and rob over a million unemployed Americans of much-needed income and assistance.
Now is not the time to end these important tax cuts, and it is certainly not the time to pull the plug on the unemployed in our economy. I encourage my colleagues to pass both of these provisions as swiftly as possible.