Congressman Gene Green voted against the GOP's "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011," H.R. 3630, which was ultimately passed in the House by a measure of 234-193 on December 13, 2011.
Rep. Green stated, "Although I strongly support extending tax cuts for the middle-class and the Keystone XL Pipeline, after careful consideration, I was unable to vote in favor of this bill because of provisions that would be devastating to my constituents and our nation. Drastically cutting back on the number of weeks that unemployment benefits can be received when we have 8.5% unemployment is like being the Grinch who stole Christmas. If we want to cut the deficit, we need to get people back to work, not cut unemployment benefits."
H.R. 3630 cuts unemployment insurance benefits for one million Americans and lowers the maximum amount of time unemployment benefits are provided from the current 99 weeks to 59 weeks. The legislation would also allow states to reduce the average weekly amount available to beneficiaries.