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Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act.
I apologize that I was not able to vote on the question of consideration of the resolution for the Rule on H.R. 3630. I was in an important meeting with constituents at the time the vote was called and was not able to make it to the capitol in time. Had I been available, I would have voted ``no'' on this resolution so the House could work on a serious proposal to extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment insurance, and Medicare payments.
H.R. 3630 makes cuts to essential programs, such as education, healthcare, and energy and contains several poison pill policy riders unrelated to the crucial issues of payroll tax and unemployment insurance that make this bill a political stunt, not a legitimate policy proposal. This bill as currently constructed is not about tax cuts for the middle class or creating jobs, rather, it is about political ideologies and severing bi-partisan agreements.
H.R. 3630 will severely cut unemployment insurance and federal employee benefits at a time when our economy cannot afford the damage these cuts will inflict. We need to focus on cutting taxes for the middle class and closing loopholes so that big corporations and the ultra-rich pay their fair share.
Furthermore, H.R. 3630 includes cuts to hospitals which would devastate the patients and the communities these hospitals serve. Specifically, the plan calls for significant cuts to funding for hospital outpatient care and Medicare ``bad debt'' that helps hospitals care for low-income seniors. At the same time, the measure fails to include expiring provisions that help provide care in rural America. In my district in Saint Louis, hospitals are an important source of jobs, like many communities throughout America. I cannot support a bill that would surely lead to cut backs in not only services for our seniors, but also to cuts in jobs in my community.
I strongly oppose this legislation, and hope to work on a serious compromise that provides real relief for the middle class and creates jobs for Americans.
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