"I have long supported an extension of a year-long the payroll tax cut for American families, as well as the extension of vital unemployment insurance benefits. I voted for this bill today because of the help these extensions will provide to 160 million Americans, but I am disappointed that the conference committee charged with the task of crafting this deal chose to pay for it by slashing federal employee benefits and targeting healthcare funds.
"Cutting taxes on one end, but targeting the benefits of middle class workers on the other, is counterproductive. Federal employees have made great financial sacrifices during the past few years, including accepting pay freezes while suffering attrition at several agencies. To now target their benefits is unconscionable.
"I am equally disturbed that the conference committee targeted the Prevention and Public Health Trust Fund, which was designed to help re-focus American healthcare services towards prevention, and not simply the treatment of ailments. Preventive care can help prolong life and avoid costly future medical treatments. To raid this fund is not only shortsighted from a scientific perspective; it is against our long-term fiscal health."