Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, if we fail to act on the remaining day of the 112th Congress, this Congress will be remembered as one which ignored the will of the people. If we fail to act, a typical middle class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200 starting in 2013. This means less money to buy groceries, gas and pay the bills.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, going over the cliff would raise the unemployment rate from 7.9 percent to 9.1 percent in 2013. Losing that many jobs would plunge our Nation back into a recession and put an economic recovery even further out of reach. We would be putting jobs on the altar for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans who have already seen their tax rate plummet to historic lows.
It's time that we put an end to the era of trying to balance budgets on the backs of the middle class, and it's time that we take steps to avoid setting our economic recovery up for failure. We all want a better resolution than simply jumping off the fiscal cliff.