U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement Friday on his vote in favor of the conference report to avert a tax increase on millions of middle class families, continue long-term unemployment insurance for those struggling to find work, and ensure seniors can continue to see their doctors using Medicare:
"I voted today to support a temporary extension of the payroll tax cuts for millions of middle class families because I believe it to be a necessary step for sustaining America's economic recovery. Non-partisan experts have found the payroll tax cut to be the most effective short-term means at Congress' disposal for supporting increased demand in the market and sustaining the economic growth we've seen these last two years. After 23 straight months of private-sector job growth, now is not the time to cut and run on our nation's economic recovery.
"My enthusiasm for the package of measures we passed today is tempered by deep disappointment in several aspects of the package that I believe run contrary to our nation's long-term economic interest. I have serious reservations about the bill's failure to responsibly "pay for' the tax cut without taking money from the Social Security trust fund, and am determined to see that those funds are replenished. In addition, failure to include a series of tax extenders that would help American manufacturers grow and create jobs was also disappointing. I have heard from several Delaware business leaders over the last few months who have specifically pointed to Congress' inconsistent and unpredictable support for tax measures that aid the development of clean energy technology has hampered their ability to move forward and create jobs. Had we been given the opportunity to amend the package we voted on today, I would have worked aggressively to include an extension of the Research and Development Tax Credit, which I have introduced twice in the last year. I believe it to be a bad tax policy to tell the companies that we expect to create the next generation of manufacturing jobs in this country that they should trust that we will pass an extension later in the year and make it retroactive."