Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly released the following statement after learning that the House Republican leadership will not allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate agreement on H.R. 3630, The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011. The Senate passed this bill on Saturday with a vast majority of both Republican and Democratic Senators in support, 89-10.
"I think it is unacceptable that House Republicans cannot put partisan politics aside and let us vote on this temporary extension," said Donnelly. "We are running out of time. Hoosier families need the peace of mind that their taxes will not be raised in two weeks. We are here to work for their interests, not in the interest of scoring political points. When a solution is on the table and we should be moving forward to protect working families' paychecks, why are House Republicans taking us backward?
"I agree that a longer term agreement would give working families more certainty about tax relief. I have voted for that, and we can continue to work toward that. However, with the payroll tax cut expiring in a matter of days, I would prefer a short term agreement to none at all. We deserve the opportunity to take an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed, bipartisan legislation that extends the cut for two months. I am very frustrated that the House Republican leadership prefers to play political games rather than protect the pocketbooks of millions of American families."
The payroll tax cut, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, will expire on December 31, 2011, if Congress does not act. The Senate agreement on The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 would extend the current tax rate for two months, preventing a tax increase while Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate a longer term tax agreement. Instead of voting on this bill, the House is expected to vote on a motion to request a conference with the Senate on this issue later today.