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Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, this Republican leadership is starting to make me envious of the people of ancient Rome, because although Nero only fiddled while Rome burned, at least he did something. House Republicans, on the other hand, have brought yet another piece of legislation to this floor that will do absolutely nothing, not a thing, to address the number one issue facing our country--jobs.
Millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, cannot find work. That means millions of families are struggling to pay their bills, keep their homes, and put enough food on the table. And instead of facing this problem head on, Republicans here in Washington are turning a blind eye to the needs of our neighbors.
You would think that with all the recesses we take around here these days my Republican friends would hear from their constituents about the still struggling economy. I know that's what I hear about from the people of Massachusetts.
There are two things that we can and must do before we break for yet another holiday recess: extend the payroll tax cut and extend unemployment insurance. By refusing to bring the payroll tax cut to the floor, the Republicans are risking tax relief for 160 million Americans while protecting massive tax cuts for 300,000 people making more than $1 million per year.
Extending and expanding the payroll tax cut would put $1,500 into the pockets of the typical middle class family. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk. Even Mitt Romney has come out in support of extending the payroll tax cut. If he can take a position, Mr. Speaker, I would hope that the House Republicans could do the same. And every dollar invested in unemployment insurance yields a return of $1.52 in economic growth. Again, hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk unless we act.
So instead of those simple, effective measures to improve our economy and spur job creation, we have before us yet another waste of time. It is time to put the people of this country first. I urge my colleagues to reject this rule, and I urge them to vote against the underlying bill.
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