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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, Sense of House Regarding Any Final Measure to Extend Certain Expiring Provisions

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend from North Charleston for his superb management of this rule.

Mr. Speaker, we regularly point to the fact that uncertainty is the enemy of prosperity and economic growth, and we know that extending this package for a year will, in fact, be doing exactly what President Obama has said is necessary for us to do. He said it's inexcusable for us not to extend this for a year, and so we've got a great chance to do this.

The other issue that I think is important to note, Mr. Speaker, is that uncertainty is now posing a national security threat to the United States of America. I say that because last night Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, had an interview on Canadian television in which he made it very clear that he had been told that there would be approval of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have allowed for the flow of Canadian energy to come into the United States, and obviously, uncertainty exists. And so he made it very clear. He said he is very serious about selling that energy, moving that energy to Asia, and we know that that means to China.

Now, I'm not an opponent of China's economic growth, but I do believe that the potential for us to work with our close ally to the north is a very, very important part of our economic growth. Job creation here would be enhanced by it, and we know it would help us have access to lower cost energy.

And so, Mr. Speaker, not only is uncertainty the enemy of economic growth and prosperity, but uncertainty is now jeopardizing our national security.

Now, Mr. Speaker, some have tried to make the claim that we're not going to have an up-or-down vote on the Senate measure. Let me explain to our colleagues what, in fact, is going to happen.

The distinguished chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Mr. Camp, is going to move to disagree with the Senate amendments and request a conference. That's the motion that the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee will have. What that means, Mr. Speaker, is that any Member who believes that we should accept the Senate temporary 2-month extension, that proposal that the National Payroll Reporting Consortium has said is unworkable and that Bloomberg News has said is unworkable and other independent analyses have said is unworkable, if a Member supports that measure, they should vote ``no'' to the motion that will be offered by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Camp) which says, I move to disagree to the Senate amendments and request a conference.

And so I think it's very clear: We have a responsibility, a responsibility to do the people's business.

It's true, our Senate colleagues have gone home. Our Senate colleagues have gone home, and they say they don't want to act. We need to request this conference so that the Speaker of the House can appoint conferees and work can begin immediately.

Why is it that one would believe that creating this uncertainty in a temporary 2-month extension will allow us to get the work done next year? It needs to be done now. We have a December 31 deadline. We're going to see a tax increase go into effect if we don't act because, while the Senate measure provides a $166 tax benefit on the payroll issue, ours would provide $1,000.

Mr. Speaker, we need to make sure that we get this work done as quickly as possible, and we are here prepared to do it.


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