Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (H.R. 3630):
"This bill is critical to strengthening our economy and encouraging private sector job creation. It would help families struggling in this economy, the unemployed find a job and protect seniors -- without adding to our national debt. It also would freeze pay for Members of Congress and provide job creators with regulatory relief from the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed job-crushing Boiler MACT rules. Importantly, it would force the Administration to decide on the Keystone XL Pipeline within 60 days of enactment, instead of delaying the decision until after the next election, which has already cost jobs at Welspun in Little Rock. There's no more time to waste. It's time for the Senate to pass this jobs bill and for the President to sign it into law."
H.R. 3630 would extend the two-percent payroll tax cut for one year, preventing a tax increase on every working American. It would reform the unemployment insurance program by lifting the ban on drug testing, decreasing the number of weeks of eligibility from 99 to 59 and requiring certain recipients enroll in a GED program if they have not finished high school. It also would provide a two-year fix to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians to ensure seniors continue to have access to quality health care.
The President's delayed decision on the Keystone Pipeline has already cost Arkansas jobs at Welspun Tubular in Little Rock, and further delays could risk the opportunity for the U.S. economy to create 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs through this project. Further, it is estimated that the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules, as written, could cost Arkansas's economy over $338 million and put more than 5,400 Arkansans out of work.