U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz issued the following statement on today's vote on extending tax cuts for middle-class Americans and small businesses.
"Americans are asking Congress to work together and take action to grow our economy and strengthen our middle class.
"For over a decade, we have tried it the Republican way--tax cuts for the wealthiest. They claimed it would grow jobs and that prosperity would trickle down to the rest of us. Instead, our economy has experienced the deepest recession in decades, and the economic strength of America's middle class has declined.
"Fortunately, we are a long way from 2008 when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. We have seen economic growth for 28 consecutive months. But there's more work to do. Our economy, our middle class, and our deficit can no longer afford to spend billions of dollars on tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent. We can no longer afford to ignore the middle class or fail to make necessary investments for economic growth.
"Democrats and Republicans agree on extending tax cuts for 114 million middle-class families. We have found common ground here and should act on it now.
"But, Congressional Republicans have made a choice -- tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans or nothing. They are willing to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage. They are willing to deny economic certainty to middle-class families and small businesses. They are willing -- in fact insisting -- that we forego $1.3 billion we need to reduce the deficit and invest in the future.
"Americans know that passing these middle-class tax cuts now will protect our economic recovery, provide certainty for families and small businesses, and create an environment for private sector job growth.
"This is the choice: work together to pass a tax relief package that strengthens the middle class and promotes economic growth, or protect tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent.
"I urge my Republican colleagues to work with us and support middle-class Americans, and stop playing politics with our country's future."