U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today issued the following statement on the Senate's 89-10 vote for a package to cut a payroll tax cut for middle class families while also ending unemployment benefits for some long-term unemployed Americans:
"It was critically important that Congress come together to extend this key tax cut for middle class families. This vote will prevent the average Michigan family from seeing a one thousand dollar tax hike at a time when many can least afford it.
"I am also pleased that we are rejecting the House plan to make severe cuts to unemployment benefits for struggling families and that most extended emergency benefits will be continued. However, it is unacceptable that the additional benefit for high unemployment states like Michigan was not extended. With four unemployed people for every job opening, it is wrong that many in Congress are insisting that we take away a basic lifeline for families struggling to stay afloat rather than ending tax breaks for millionaires. When this temporary legislation expires and we take up this issue again in February, I will fight to restore these unemployment benefits for hurting families as soon as possible."
The payroll tax extension and extended unemployment provisions last only 2 months, expiring on February 29th. The House of Representatives will vote on the payroll tax and unemployment benefit package Monday.