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Public Statements

Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. PELOSI. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I also thank him for his legislation on the floor today, to strengthen the backbone of our democracy, the great American middle class.

Today we can do just that by passing President Obama's middle-income tax cut, which is on the floor today as the Levin substitute. It has already passed the Senate and could be signed into law by the President before the weekend.

We have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to give a tax cut to 100 percent of the American people. We have an opportunity to relieve some of the uncertainty that exists in our economy as to how we are going to pay the bills and how America's working families are going to pay the bills.

We have an opportunity for fairness, which is an all-American value, for fairness for our families, for our businesses, and for our budget. We must not--as some people always accuse Congress of doing--miss an opportunity.

We have to take advantage of the opportunity that is here today. The bill provides for fairness for the middle class and certainty, as I mentioned.

The Republican alternative says not only do we want to give 100 percent of the American people a tax cut; we want to give a bigger and better tax cut to people making over $250,000 a year ,2 percent of the American people. In order to do that, we greatly increase the deficit which would incur borrowing from other countries, including China. And to top it all off, in order to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in our country, we have to increase taxes for the middle class in order to pay for that. If you make over $1 million a year, the Republican tax proposal will give you a tax cut of $160,000 on average. And on average, America's middle-income families would have to pay $1,000 more in taxes.

You know, we work for the American people. You are our bosses. So as our bosses, what would you instruct us to do when it comes to reducing the deficit, giving a tax cut to 100 percent of the American people, which will inject demand into the economy and therefore create jobs. So we are reducing the deficit. We're creating jobs, and we're having fairness as a principle as to how we go forward.

Make no mistake, by refusing to vote for the Senate-passed bill, House Republicans are giving more tax breaks to the richest 2 percent, tax breaks they don't need and we can't afford. At the same time they cut taxes for the rich, as I said, they would raise an average of $1,000 on 25 million American families, families who rely on that money for day-to-day needs to pay their bills. That isn't fair, and Democrats will fight to prevent these tax increases on middle-income families in order to give a tax break to the wealthiest people in our country.

Today is a day when we can end some uncertainty. People talk about the cliff. We are going to go over the cliff come January. Let's not even go anywhere near the edge of that cliff. Let's pass this bill today. It will save just under $1 trillion because we're not giving those tax cuts to the high end. That is almost all the money that is needed to avoid the sequestration come January. So again, we are addressing the uncertainty not only in the lives of the American people, but in the life of our economy.

Or today is the day that Republicans will continue to hold the middle class hostage to tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country.

I urge my colleagues to join Mr. Levin, join the President of the United States, join all of us. There isn't a person in this room, in this body, I think, who doesn't support tax cuts for the middle class. Why can't we just do that, do what we can agree upon right now, tax cut by the weekend, alleviating uncertainty for our economy as we go forward, and then we can have a debate about what a Tax Code should look like that has fairness, simplification, and again keeps us competitive, innovative, and, number one, allows the private sector to create jobs. Again, jobs, jobs, jobs.

We will reduce that deficit by having additional revenue, by creating growth, by addressing spending so we are investing in those initiatives that grow our economy. Pretty soon when we end this debate, it will be around the time when America's families will sit down for dinner at the kitchen table or wherever, and they will have these discussions about how they pay the bills, the bills to stay in their home or their apartment, wherever. Discussions on how they will pay for their children's education, how their pensions are affected by all of this. The list goes on and on.

With one vote, we can alleviate that uncertainty. We're not going to eliminate it, but we can lessen it. We have that responsibility. Let's not miss an opportunity to do just that.

So I thank you, Mr. Levin, for your leadership and members of the committee for all of your hard work.

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