House Speaker John Boehner today appointed U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore) to serve as one of eight House "conferees" to help negotiate differing tax and unemployment insurance plans passed by the House and Senate.
"The $833.33 question is this: Do we go with the Senate plan that provides working Americans with $166.67 in payroll tax relief over two months, or the House Republican plan that would give middle class workers $1,000 in tax relief for a year?" asked Walden.
"Do we go with the short-term Senate plan that the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, Inc., says, " would create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees'? Or do we pass the House Republican plan that provides more tax relief, extends unemployment insurance with real reforms and a year's worth of certainty?"
"And when it comes to making sure America's senior citizens can see their doctors, doesn't it make more sense to put a two-year plan in place for adequate physician payments, rather than a two-month plan, as proposed by the U.S. Senate?" asked Walden.
President Obama said that, "Congress should not go home for vacation until it finds a way to avoid hitting 160 million Americans with a tax hike on January 1." He added that it would be "inexcusable" not to extend this tax holiday for an entire year.
"I for one am glad the House is back in session this week working toward an agreement with the Senate on tax reductions and unemployment extension with reforms," Rep. Walden said. "The House sent the Senate a bipartisan plan to create jobs, take care of those seeking work, and help the middle class with tax relief. Why the Senate decided to instead punt by passing a 60-day Band-Aid and leaving town without any resolution is beyond me."
"The President is right when he said that it would be inexcusable for our elected leaders to enjoy an extended vacation and give 160 million Americans the worst kind of Christmas present: a tax increase. As a small business owner for more than two decades, I have this gut reaction when big problems get ignored and rhetoric is substituted for solutions."
"Enough is enough. It's time to solve problems in Washington and get the job done," Rep. Walden said. "The Senate should come back from vacation and come back to the lawmaking process so we can send a solution to the President for his signature."