Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7) late yesterday voted to extend the payroll tax cut, saving New Jersey's working families from a $1,000 tax increase. The "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act," which is fully paid for and offset by savings elsewhere in the federal budget, passed the U.S. House last night by a bipartisan vote of 234 to 193.
"The House-passed bill is a balanced measure that will strengthen our economy and help get Americans back to work," Lance said immediately following passage of the bill. "It renews the payroll tax credit in a fiscally responsible manner while preserving the Social Security trust fund, extends and reforms unemployment benefits for jobless Americans and protects New Jersey's senior citizens from massive Medicare cuts in physician payments. But most important of all the bill stops a $1,000 tax increase scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2012 if Congress does not act."
Among its many provisions the House-approved legislation would extend for one year the payroll tax cut for employees. It also would renew the "doc fix," which prevents a 27.4 percent reduction in reimbursement rates for physicians who see Medicare patients, and would extend unemployment insurance, while gradually reducing the maximum length of time for benefit from 99 to 59 weeks -- a proposal similar to President Obama's unemployment insurance reforms. If Congress does not act to extend them, the payroll tax cut, doc fix and unemployment insurance are set to expire at the end of 2011.
"If these scheduled cuts were to go into place, quite a few doctors in our area have told me they would limit their medical practices," said Lance, who serves on the influential Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. "This bill will help ensure that their doors remain open and that New Jersey's senior citizens continue to receive the high quality health care they deserve."
The House-passed bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for its consideration. Lance said now is the time to act.
"The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act is a bipartisan, fiscally responsible jobs bill that will help get our economy back on track. I strongly urge my colleagues in the U.S. Senate to pass this bill."