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Mr. HENSARLING. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, we all need to be reminded of why we're here in the first place.
We're here because the President's economic policies have failed. They've failed this Nation. Ever since he was elected, unemployment has been at, near, or above 9 percent. And the people suffer. So that's why I believe almost every Member of this body believes that we must extend the payroll tax holiday.
That's not the debate, Mr. Speaker.
What is most curious, though, is our President. Our President has said it would be inexcusable for Congress not to further extend this middle class tax cut for the rest of the year. He didn't say 60 days. He said the rest of the year. The Democratic leader has said that she intends to fight to extend these provisions for a full year.
So, Mr. Speaker, I guess I'm confused.
I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle say they want to do this for a year. They say they want to do it for a year, but they're just not willing to vote to do it for a year. That's most curious, Mr. Speaker. I don't think I understand it. That's what the President asked for. It's what the American people deserve. They don't want us to punt the ball. They want us to do our job. So there is no point of contention on whether or not this should be extended.
But the question is: Are we going to do it for a full year, or are we going to punt the ball down the field and, once again, disappoint the American people?
Here is the next point of contention:
We stand ready to work over the holidays to get this done. That's the question. Are you willing to work over the holidays, or are you not willing to work over the holidays? The American people, most of them, are going to have to work over the holidays. Why shouldn't we be willing to do this?
Mr. Speaker, I guess it's just curious how many people seem to be unaware that there is this thing called a ``conference committee.'' Since the dawn of the Republic, these are how differences are settled between the House and the Senate. If you don't remember your Civics 101, and maybe if you have small children like I do, you can go back and watch the Schoolhouse Rock video. It's very clear. All we're asking is that the Democrats appoint conferees and negotiate in good faith--except the Senate Democrat leader said he wouldn't do it, and the House Democrat leader said she wouldn't do it.
So it kind of begs the question, Mr. Speaker: Do they want to make laws that benefit the American people in a time of need, or do they want to perpetuate a campaign issue that maybe they believe helps their campaigns? That's really the question.
Then last but not least, we ought to pass laws that actually work around here. ABC News reported last night: ``Holiday Passed by Senate, Pushed by President, Cannot Be Implemented Properly, Experts Say.''
Well, isn't that interesting.
The National Payroll Reporting Consortium that handles payroll for about a third of the private economy said that this ``could create substantial problems, confusion and cost, affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees.''
The Associated Builders and Contractors, the people who actually go out and build things in America, have said: ``This sort of temporary fix underscores Congress' uneven, ad hoc approach toward the economy, and causes more harm than good for America's job creators.'' The leading building trade association in the Nation said the Senate's 60-day plan will cause more harm than good.
Mr. Speaker, House Republicans have passed a good and reasonable bill. It's for 1 year. It does what the President asks us to do. It does what the American people ask us to do. It's actually paid for. It doesn't increase the deficit, and it blocks tax increases. I don't know how my friends on the other side of the aisle think we're going to create jobs with temporary tax increases with permanent tax increases. It doesn't happen.
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