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Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendments to H.R. 3630, Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011; Providing for Consideration of House Resolution 501...

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HENSARLING. The American people know why we are here today. We are here today because the President's economic policies have failed. Since the President was elected, unemployment has been at, near, or above 9 percent, one in seven on food stamps, small business startups at about a 17-year low. That's the Obama economy.

And because of that, Mr. Speaker, almost every single Member of the House and Senate agree that we should extend the payroll tax holiday for another year. What is so confusing to many of us is that, as my friends on the other side of the aisle say, yes, we need to do this for a year, like the President said, like the American people expect, and yet they all want to vote against it.

So the disagreement we have here is: Do you want to punt the ball down the field, do you want to do this for 60 days and do it again in 60 days for another 60 days, or do you want to solve the problem? That's the first debate. And it really begs the question: Why? Why do we have so many people saying they want to do this for a year and yet they're only willing to vote for 60 days? Are people more interested in making a law that will benefit the American people or are they more interested in making a campaign issue that may benefit their own reelection campaigns? That's the question.

The second point of debate is: The American people, many of whom are suffering because of this economy, they're willing to work over the holidays. Are we willing to work over the holidays? The House is willing to work. The question is: Where is the Senate; okay?

Since the dawn of the Republic, we've had this thing called a conference committee. You know, if you took Civics 101, you will remember it. The House passes a bill; the Senate passes a bill; they come together in a conference committee and they work out their differences. We stand ready to work over the holidays.

And here's the third point: Do you want to pass a bill for messaging purposes or do you want to pass a bill that works? ABC reported last night, ``Two-Month Payroll Tax Holiday Passed by Senate, Pushed by President, Cannot Be Implemented Properly, Experts Say.''

The National Payroll Reporting Consortium--this is the group that handles all the payroll issues for practically a third of all of the private sector workers in the country--said that it ``could create substantial problems, confusion, and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees.''

And, in fact, the Associated Builders & Contractors have said: This sort of temporary fix underscores Congress's uneven ad hoc approach toward the economy and causes more harm than good for America's job creators.


Mr. HENSARLING. So, Mr. Speaker, it really comes down to this: If you say you want to do this for a year, put your vote where your rhetoric is. If you are not willing to work over the holidays, admit to the American people you're not willing to work over the holidays. And if you want to support a bill that actually works, talk to the job creators in America.

That's the problem in Washington--people get isolated. Talk to the people who are absolutely responsible for this, and they will tell you this 60-day ad hoc approach doesn't work. That's why we need a rule to go to conference and put forth something the American people want and need.


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