Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) voted to extend tax cuts for the middle class that would save a typical family of four $2,200 next year.
"With unemployment still at 8.2 percent, middle-class Americans cannot afford a tax hike," Rep. Lipinski said. "Had the House voted with the Senate as I did today to extend tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000, we could have put those American families at ease by ensuring that their income taxes will not go up next year. But instead of settling this issue by passing legislation that can be immediately signed into law, Congress is once again playing political games and kicking the can down the road.
"Had the House passed the Senate legislation, Congress could then have turned its attention to addressing the remaining tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year, with the goal of providing additional tax relief while simultaneously dealing with the automatic budget cuts that are scheduled to hit at the same time. Those two issues cannot be considered in isolation. There is bipartisan agreement that we must amend the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. These across-the-board spending reductions will cut programs without making any distinctions between those that are essential and those that are a waste of taxpayer dollars. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has also stated that in their current form these cuts raise the risk of an economic contraction the American people can ill-afford. As someone who has repeatedly voted for strong, bipartisan deficit reduction measures, I believe we should fulfill the promise to reduce the deficit we made with the Budget Control Act, without abdicating on our obligation to set priorities.
"The bottom line is this: if we extend all the tax cuts and rescind the sequester cuts without concern for breaking the promise we made to reduce the debt in last year's Budget Control Act, how much longer will investors trust Congress's commitment to debt reduction and continue to lend the U.S. money at low interest rates? Is Congress serious about deficit reduction and America's future, or are we going to continue to be irresponsible until it is too late?
"All one has to do is look to Europe to witness the terrible consequences of failing to balance spending and revenues until it is too late. In order to prevent a similar catastrophe here that does grave damage to the middle class, I helped introduce and was among the 38 bipartisan House members who earlier this year voted for a balanced proposal for $4 trillion in deficit reduction based on the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission. As such, I was among those the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget thanked "for being open to compromise and putting the nation's fiscal interest above their party's interest.' In addition, I voted for the bipartisan budget deal that prevented a government shutdown and cut spending in 2011 by $38 billion, opposed a bill that would have increased the debt limit without addressing future deficits, and supported the Budget Control Act to reduce the deficit by at least $2.1 trillion over 10 years. What we need is a targeted, long-term plan for restoring fiscal discipline that positions our economy for strong, stable growth. I look forward to continuing to lead the effort to develop and pass such a plan."