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Conference Report on H.R. 3630, Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. VELÁZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, we have before us a less than ideal piece of legislation. All of us recognize it is vital the payroll tax cut be extended. This cut has put money in the pockets of 160 million Americans--17 million of them in the tri-state New York area. These consumers--indeed our entire economy--cannot afford for this measure to lapse.

At the same time, this bill does not go far enough in helping those who have been hurt by the recession. Millions of Americans are seeking employment but still cannot find it. Indeed, our economy would need to create 230,000 jobs each month--for two years--to regain all the jobs lost since December of 2007. This bill makes it more difficult for out-of-work Americans, by shortening the amount of time they may receive unemployment benefits to 73 weeks. At the same time we cut these benefits, our Republican colleagues insist on protecting those ``vulnerable millionaires'' who continue receiving tax cuts.

Mr. Speaker, I will vote for this bill--but reluctantly. We cannot afford for Unemployment Insurance or the payroll tax cut to expire. Still, it is my hope that in the future we can do more to protect working families who have suffered from this downturn.

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