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Mr. HENSARLING. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, if my friends on the other side of the aisle are confused about why we're here, let me enlighten them. It's because the President's policies have failed. In the Obama economy, employment has been at, near or above 9 percent ever since the gentleman was elected. One in seven are on food stamps, and small business start-ups are at a 17-year low. So, Mr. Speaker, that's why we're here today. I think almost everyone in this Chamber agrees, yes, we want to extend the Social Security payroll tax holiday.
But what is so curious to me, Mr. Speaker, is I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle say, we need to do it for a year, but we're only willing to vote for 60 days. I don't understand that, Mr. Speaker. And I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle saying, middle-income families deserve this $1,000 tax cut; yet they're only willing to vote for $160. And then they say, we have to pass it today, we can't let New Year's Day come without passing this; and yet they won't appoint anybody to a conference committee, and everyone is getting ready to run to the airport. I don't understand it, Mr. Speaker.
So the question is, are my friends on the other side of the aisle interested in making a law that will help American families and hardworking taxpayers, or are they interested in making a campaign issue that they can recycle every 60 days? Only they can answer the question.
Now, Mr. Speaker, it is inconvenient in tough economic times that our constituents have to work over the holidays. Maybe it should be inconvenient to us as well. We stand ready. We just can't do our job if the Senate Democratic leader refuses to appoint anybody and if the House Democratic leader refuses to appoint anybody to sit down and negotiate in good faith. I'm sorry it's inconvenient for my friends on the other side of the aisle to work during the holidays.
Then last but not least, I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle saying we need something that works for the American people. Well, guess what? Once again, they didn't consult with the American people. All of the employers that we hear about are saying this is unworkable. The Associated Builders and Contractors, I quote, talking about their 60-day plan: ``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.'' I hear from job creators from my own district in Kaufman County, Texas: ``The 2-month extension is more hassle than a help. It's impossible to budget and plan for an unknown.''
Mr. Speaker, if you want a year of tax relief, vote for a year of tax relief. If you want $1,000 in tax relief, vote for it and be willing to work over the holidays.
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