Mr. PALLONE. I want to follow up on what my colleague from Illinois said, because it really is true.
We are talking about hurt for America's families here. I know that, in the next week, as this time expires on the unemployment compensation, on the Medicare reimbursement, on the payroll tax cut, I'm going to get calls from seniors telling me that the doctors are not accepting them for Medicare anymore. I'm going to find out that people have lost their unemployment insurance.
Here we are at a time when we're just starting to see the economy improve a little bit; and I know there is a real risk, if we don't extend that payroll tax cut, that we will send the economy back into a recession again.
It is amazing to me to see my colleagues on the other side suggest that somehow they're going to stay here and that the conferees are going to be here. None of that is true. They're home. They're not here. They're going home, and they're not going to come back until after January. I really think it's outrageous to think that they're running the risk that the economy will be hurt by this and that people won't have money in their pockets and that those who receive Medicare may be refused a doctor.
We're simply asking, as Democrats, to have a heart. Why is it that Republicans don't understand the negative consequences of this?