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Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011.
I have never believed in short-term tax policy because uncertainty is the enemy of prosperity. For that reason I have authored the Tax Relief Certainty Act which would make permanent the tax cuts established in 2001 and 2003, repeal the estate tax, and provide permanent relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
While I would have preferred this conference report was more than another piece-meal approach to tax relief, the question we face today is whether this Congress is going to avoid a tax increase on working families. During these difficult economic times I believe that we should not allow a tax increase on working families, and therefore, I will support this bill.
I am pleased that this conference report includes important reforms in unemployment benefits. As I travel around Indiana, small business owners in one community after another have told me about the need to reduce dependency on unemployment insurance. I believe we can provide a safety net for those who have fallen on hard times while at the same time protecting the incentive to work.
This legislation takes an important first step toward reforming unemployment insurance by reducing the maximum number of weeks of eligibility for benefits based on a state's unemployment level and creating national job search requirements for everyone collecting state and federal unemployment insurance benefits. I am also pleased that this conference report contains language that will not interfere with Indiana's efforts to return the state's unemployment trust fund to solvency.
The deal before us today is nothing to write home about, but it does avoid a tax increase on working families during these difficult economic times and starts us down the road toward unemployment insurance reform--and I urge my colleagues to support it.
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