U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, released the following statement on the passage of the payroll tax cut extension (H.R. 3630):
"I voted for the payroll tax cut extension because now is not the time to raise taxes on 170 million Americans. This will keep the two-percent payroll tax cut in place through December 31 -- without job-killing tax hikes to pay for more government spending.
"I already voted for a year-long tax cut extension that was paid for by other spending cuts, but that was rejected by the Senate.
"The bill we passed Friday is the biggest repeal of Obamacare to date because it eliminates a $5 billion slush fund and a giveaway to Louisiana worth $2.5 billion. Passing this bill is the first real bite out of Obamacare.
"The bill also has serious unemployment compensation reform. It allows, for the first time, every state to drug screen and test anyone who lost their job because they failed or refused an employer drug test, or is seeking a job that generally requires a drug test. For the first time ever, this legislation requires those receiving unemployment benefits at both the state and federal level to actually look for a job from the first day they are unemployed. It also ensures that welfare funds can't be accessed at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.
"Passing this bill also stops a 27.4-percent cut in Medicare physician payments that were slated to begin March 1. Those rates are frozen at their current level though the end of the year."