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Public Statements

Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 3630, Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Speaker, Americans who are watching are probably going to have a deja vu. Last time they watched Congress in action on a contentious bill near the Christmas holiday was in 2009 when the Senate had plenty of time to come into town and pass the ObamaCare bill. And the House, under the leadership of what is now the minority party, thought it was just fine to do whatever the Senate wanted.

How'd that work out for you, America?

Today, we're actually going to do what we should be doing, which is going to conference and compromising with the Senate. Now, the motion is to concur with the Senate amendments. The Senate amendments say 60 days. Mr. Speaker, that's not kicking the can down the road; that's barely nudging the can down the road.

And why doesn't that work?

Because as a physician, I'll tell you, the real danger to our seniors is passing something that's short term time and time again, which the 111th Congress did. And I work with these docs. What they tell you, especially in rural areas where physicians are in shortage, they say: You know what? If you're only going to give me a 1-month or 2-week extension, as has been done, I'm going to have to stop seeing Medicare patients. I want to take care of Medicare patients, but that uncertainty that those short-term extensions create, I can't deal with in my practice.

Under this, if a senior wants to see a specialist, especially a good specialist, they might have to wait 2 or 3 months. They're going to have to wait until after this extension. That specialist is going to say: I don't know what's happening in March. I'm not going to see those patients.

The minority whip says the Republicans pretended to support a tax cut. I ask America, let's look at the record. We had a vote last week on the tax cut. Go look and see which party rejected the tax cut for middle class Americans.

The gentleman from New York says we pretend to be for the working class.

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Mr. HARRIS. I would ask that America go to House.gov and look at the vote last week. Which party rejected a 1-year-long middle class tax cut and which party was in the majority to move that tax cut?

The minority doesn't want a 1-year tax cut. They made it clear in last year's vote. The Senate made it clear in this action they took last week.

Yes, we're going to drag them kicking and screaming to a conference. It's too bad that's what the legislative process has come to. We need to support going to conference and compromise.

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