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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. SCOTT of South Carolina. House Resolution 502 provides for a motion to go to conference on H.R. 3630 and for a closed ruled on H. Res. 501.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and the underlying bill.

To be honest, Mr. Speaker, being here today is almost ridiculous because last week the House passed a very good bill, and the three major components of it are very simple:

Payroll tax extension, a holiday--not a 60-day holiday, but a 1-year payroll tax extension that is paid for;

Unemployment insurance; we addressed unemployment insurance in a very compassionate way, working as the President has suggested. We need to cut it by 20 weeks over time. So our House, in a bipartisan fashion, is working to take it from 99 weeks to 59 weeks, holding in truth the spirit of our President;

Finally, the doc fix. If we're going to keep Medicare and the recipients of Medicare whole, we have to address the reimbursement rates of the doctors. This doc fix stops an almost 30 percent cut in the reimbursement rate.

But beyond that, we decided that it is time to create American jobs. So the Keystone pipeline that creates more than 20,000 jobs is in this bill. But not only do we want to create jobs, we want to save jobs, and so you think of the Boiler MACT that saves more jobs than the pipeline creates. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, our friends on the left want to continue to hold the middle class hostage because they have a plan to continue to raise taxes as they have over the last year.

As a matter of fact, in 2010, in one bill only, Mr. Speaker, they raised taxes on the middle class, and this year, because we're moving into an election year, they decided it's time to remember the American middle class. Last year, they were taxing that middle class and taxing that middle class and taxing that middle class.

Let me give you a few examples:

A new $123 billion of taxes on the middle class in investment income; a hike in Medicare payroll taxes with $86 billion passed through to the middle class.

I don't know why this year all of a sudden they want to talk about tax breaks for the middle class and only give them 60 days, Mr. Speaker. I believe that the middle class deserves certainty, and our bill gives them certainty. We say for 1 year we need to extend to the middle class, people who are struggling every day to make their ends meet.

Our friends on the left are getting ready for campaign season, so what they're really concerned about is themselves. But what we've said is, when you take into consideration that a person who needs a medical device must now pay a pass-through tax upwards of $20 billion, that's not compassionate. That's not fair, Mr. Speaker.

When you think about tanning services, a $2.7 billion pass-through tax to the middle class on tanning services. Now, I'm not quite sure what tanning services has to do with health care, but we find ourselves in the midst, sir, of another backdoor tax increase on the middle class.

Or if we need drugs in the future, let's go ahead and tax the innovating companies $22 billion and pass it to the middle class.

Or if you don't like those taxes, we've got another one on health insurers. Let's take $60 billion out of the pockets of the middle class by making the insurers pay more, which they know they will pass it through to the middle class.

But since that may not be enough, they decided that they would actually tax the health plans of the middle class, $32 billion on the plans of the middle class.

I just don't understand it, Mr. Speaker. We must not only extend this tax cut for the middle class; we must also pay for it.

As I was talking to one of my constituents, a 57-year-old who makes $650 every 2 weeks, every 2 weeks she brings home $650, and she needs her $600 tax cut. But she's very close to Social Security so she says to me: TIM, please, as you provide an extension of the tax cut, please don't raid the Social Security funds.

So we on the right have decided, in a bipartisan way, to work with the President. Our offsets include 90 percent offsets that the President, himself, has agreed to. In a bipartisan way, we address the payroll tax extension. We keep Social Security as solvent as it can be today, and we continue to make sure that senior citizens have doctors who will see them because we fixed the problem of reimbursement rates. And unemployment is now a greater incentive for work than it has been in more than 2 years or so because we're taking 99 weeks and we're working in a bipartisan fashion with the President and taking it down to 59 weeks for some States.

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this rule, and I reserve the balance of my time.


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