The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the conference agreement on H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The bill - which extends the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans, ensures tens of millions of seniors can continue to see the doctor of their choice under Medicare, and extends partial unemployment benefits - passed the House by a vote of 293-132.
Congressman André Carson supported the conference agreement as necessary to prevent a tax increase for 160 million American consumers and to ensure the continuation of unemployment benefits. In addition, had this bill not passed the House, those on unemployment would have seen their benefits expire soon, and as of March 11 new applicants would have been eligible for only 26 weeks, instead of 99 weeks.
However, Congressman Carson expressed frustration with the provision reducing the maximum number of weeks individuals may receive benefits from 99 to 73.
Congressman Carson said of the agreement, "Today, House Republicans held hostage tax relief for 160 million Americans so that they could significantly cut unemployment benefits for our out-of-work neighbors. That is not compromise; it is coercion."
Congressman Carson added, "House Republicans have sliced at the safety net for those who cannot find work after rejecting every effort President Obama and House Democrats have offered to create jobs."