Today, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) is taking action to force an up-or-down vote on legislation to extend tax cuts for 98 percent of all Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.
Rep. Johnson joined his colleagues in signing a discharge petition, led by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), to bring up the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (H.R. 15). This legislation to enact the President's plan would provide everyone with a tax cut on income up to $250,000, while asking the rich to pay their fair share by allowing taxes on income over $250,000 to return to Clinton-era rates. If House Republicans don't permit action on this measure, middle-class families will see their income taxes go up on January first, by $2,200 for the typical middle income family with two children.
"It is time to take action to extend tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans," declared Rep. Johnson. "The American people need solutions, not political stalemates. Today, House Democrats are taking a bold step to force Speaker Boehner to immediately schedule a vote on the Senate-passed bill to extend tax cuts for the middle class. The President has said he will sign it immediately."
Democrats are launching this discharge petition to force action on this widely-supported legislation, because the Republican Leadership has refused to move ahead on this -- holding middle class tax cuts hostage to tax breaks for the wealthy few. It has been 132 days since the Senate passed this bill (July 25), and there are only 27 days until middle class taxes will go up. A discharge petition requires the House to consider the legislation once a majority (218) Members of Congress have signed it. This process was successful in forcing action to get campaign finance and disabled veterans benefits enacted in 2001 and 2003.
"Congressional Republicans must heed the call of middle class families, end the uncertainty and stop holding middle income tax cuts for 3.5 million Georgians hostage to their demand for tax cuts for the rich."
"We must provide families and small businesses peace of mind and certainty during this holiday season, instead of making them pay the price for partisan gridlock. Getting middle class tax cuts that we all agree on done is a crucial step forward as we work to find a bold, balanced and fair budget agreement that will create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce the deficit. Time is running out and middle class Americans cannot afford more stalemates or delay."