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Smith Votes to Pass Bill to Restore County Payments

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Smith Votes to Pass Bill to Restore County Payments
Senate Approves Tax Bill With a Four Year, $3.3 Billion County Payments Extension

Today, Oregon counties are one step closer to receiving county payments funding after Senator Gordon Smith voted in favor a tax relief extension bill that included a $3.3 billion, four-year extension of Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. Senator Smith teamed up with fellow Finance Committee member and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden to successfully urge the committee's chairman and ranking member to attach county payments funding to the bill.

Senator Smith issued the following statement about today's vote in the Senate:

"Tonight, the Senate took an important to step towards rescuing Oregon's counties from falling off the fiscal cliff. Although this legislation is promising, there is still work to do. Senator Wyden and I will not stop fighting until checks are cut to keep our counties afloat. County budgets are being depleted by the day, and time is running out for libraries and schools to stay open. The need has never been greater for the Oregon delegation to come together and work across the aisle to ensure Oregon's counties are not left behind. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to get this vital piece of legislation across the President's desk and enacted into law."

Over the years, Senator Smith has been a tireless advocate to restore county payments funding to Oregon's rural counties. His efforts include:

• Held countless meeting with Administration officials, Senate leadership and Oregon County Commissioners.
• At every opportunity, filed amendments to moving legislation to restore county payments.
• At the urging of Senator Smith, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came to Oregon to meet with county officials to discuss the future of the county payments safety net in June of 2007.
• Successfully worked with Senator Wyden to help pass two bills in the Senate this Congress, which included a multi-year extension of county payments before the House stripped it out.

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