U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson issued the following statement today after the House voted by unanimous consent to approve a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.
"It's not often I get to say this, but common sense prevailed in Washington, D.C. this week," Rep. Johnson said. "It seems as if there is a dogmatic insistence by both parties to bully the other side on every issue. That doesn't make for good legislation. We could have achieved this result a week ago without the accompanying rancor."
"For the sake of the American worker, I am pleased that we have temporary closure on this. We still have work to do for the long term and I urge my colleagues to focus on policy not politics. Republicans, under the able leadership of Speaker John Boehner, have had good success in cutting spending. For the first time in modern history, discretionary spending will be lower next year and I will continue to work to decrease discretionary spending even more. As a nation, we still have many miles to go in cutting the size, scope and responsibility of federal government."
Rep. Johnson was one of only 7 Republicans who on Tuesday opposed sending to conference committee the Senate version of the payroll tax extension. The Senate's version of this legislation would have extended for two months the payroll tax cut, the current Medicare physician reimbursement rate, and unemployment benefits instead of one year as the original House-passed version did.
"There is agreement on the need to extend these provisions. I support these measures individually and there are reasonable ways to pay for it," Rep. Johnson said at the time. "To laden this measure down with political agendas and extraneous, irrelevant riders is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, this is part of business-as-usual inside the beltway politics and I refuse to be part of that misplaced strategy.