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Public Statements

Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 3630, Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASCRELL. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, thankfully we're in a leap year, because we have 2 weeks to the day to come to an agreement to extend the payroll tax cut, the doc fix, and the important unemployment benefits.

We can't let taxes go up for the American people by $100 billion. Let's get this clear what this costs. Yet the majority is willing to bail out certain banks, to protect billionaires from having their taxes go up by one dime, and the majority has to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide the middle class a little help.

The gentleman from New York was absolutely correct to compare what the Reagan administration faced--and I thought they did a good job in responding to the problem--to this almost catastrophe off the cliff, which is a stretch beyond one's imagination. It doesn't stand up to logic. So far this year, the economic indicators have shown some improvements, not what you would like, not what I would like, not what the gentleman from Long Island would like. Well, we're going in the right direction. I'm sorry if some folks on the other side don't like that, but that's what's happening.

We've had 23 months of private sector job growth and increases not since the mid-nineties in manufacturing. When the President raised his hand in January of 2009, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Now the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, which is nowhere either side wants it to be. However, the failure to pass a payroll tax cut would put the brakes on our economic growth by reducing our gross domestic product by $28 billion off the bat. The recovery is still fragile. The States, including my home State of New Jersey, have an above average unemployment rate. Unfortunately, the failure to pass an extension would also hurt New Jersey more than almost every other State.

First, folks living in Bergen County, they lose $1,400. Now, that may not seem like a lot if you're paying a tax rate of 13.9 percent--hint, hint--but it is a significant amount of money directly in the pockets of the middle class families in northern New Jersey. Nationwide, the failure to pass an extension would reduce employment by $350,000.

We all agree, Mr. Speaker, that this payroll tax cut is a good thing, but we disagree profoundly as to how we're going to pay for this. I know it's tough for you to come to the well to find places to pay for it since you didn't pay for anything.

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Mr. PASCRELL. In New Jersey, this means the construction industry would lose over $100 billion in sales; manufacturing would lose $285 million in sales; and real estate professionals would lose $159 million in sales. Overall, there would be a reduction of over 11,000 jobs.

This is totally unacceptable. The answer to job creation and economic growth is in front of our faces. Help the middle class grow with tax relief and smart investments now. Put it in context.

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