Today, the House of Representatives blocked an up or down vote on the Senate's bipartisan bill that would have extended for two months the payroll tax holiday and federal unemployment insurance and also delayed Medicare payment cuts to doctors in order to give Congress more time to work on a full year solution. Supporting the Senate's compromise bill, Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement:
"My Republican colleagues in Congress believe that this bill will create uncertainty for families, doctors, and businesses, and they cite this uncertainty as one of their primary reasons to reject this legislation. They fail to recognize, however, that by rejecting this bill, this uncertainty will now begin not in two months, but in less than two weeks. A bipartisan majority of the Senate and the Democrats in the House agree that the best chance for a full year solution was to pass this two month extension during which we will continue to address the controversial issues that we have been unable to solve despite years of trying. Instead, the Republican-controlled House believed that blocking this extension will somehow force a full year solution in the next ten days. We will soon see which side is correct.
"While I have long preferred alternatives to the payroll tax cut, such as a tax rebate or some other direct payment to working Americans, the payroll tax holiday benefits working Americans and stimulates the economy. Economists have said that not extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance will have a significant negative impact on the economy. By blocking this bill, 160 million Americans will face a $1000 tax hike, 2.2 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits, and 48 million seniors may lose access to their doctors. Passing the bipartisan Senate bill is the only way to guarantee certainty for the American people."