Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, 160 million Americans stand on the brink of a tax hike. Republicans in Congress need to get serious about working together on a bipartisan package to extend the payroll taxes for the middle class and renew unemployment benefits.
The Republican extender package reduces eligibility for unemployment benefits by 40 weeks. It would require everyone receiving benefits to have a GED. My dad, who only had a third-grade education, would not be eligible. And it cuts $21 billion from affordable health care programs, causing 170,000 Americans to become uninsured.
Republicans are asking seniors to pay more for their Medicare, and they're asking the Federal employees to have serious cuts or salaries frozen until the year 2015. Yet they refuse to ask millionaires and billionaires to pay one more cent. No taxes, no jobs.
Let's pass a responsible plan to extend the payroll tax and unemployment benefits before it's too late.