Saying Congress should not enact major tax policy in 2-month increments, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan voted Tuesday for H. Res. 501 in support of a full-year payroll tax cut for working Americans. He urged congressional leaders to work together and pass the measure before the end of the year.
"Only in Washington can a 60-day tax cut be considered good for the economy," said Buchanan, a 30-year businessman and Florida's only member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. "It's time to quit the political gamesmanship and work in a bipartisan manner to help Americans who are struggling through the worst jobs climate since the Great Depression."
ABC news has reported that a two-month patch may be unworkable. According to the policy-neutral National Payroll Reporting Consortium, a short-term fix could "create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees."
Last week, Buchanan supported House-approved legislation to extend the payroll tax cut for one calendar year, expiring on December 31, 2012. The bill would extend the current rate of 4.2 percent for employees, and 10.4 percent for the self-employed. Also included in the House bill was a two-year provision to prevent a 27.4 percent reduction in reimbursement rates for physicians who treat senior citizens on Medicare. The Senate version would only extend reimbursement rates for two months.
"Senior citizens rely on Medicare to see their doctors," said Buchanan, who serves on the influential Health Subcommittee of Ways & Means. "If these cuts go into place, many doctors in our area have told me they would simply close their doors. A full-year extension will help ensure that their doors remain open and that our seniors continue to receive the quality health care they deserve."
In addition to voting for H.Res. 501 today, Buchanan also voted against a Democrat motion in support of the 2-month extension.