Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin today condemned House Republicans for blocking consideration of a bipartisan Senate compromise to extend the middle class payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for Americans who are out of work through no fault of their own.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (H.R. 3630) would continue the payroll tax cut for 160 million middle class Americans and would extend unemployment insurance for more than two million Americans, including more than 41,000 Wisconsinites. Unless the tax cut is extended, Wisconsin workers will see their taxes increase nearly $1100 a year, beginning on January 1. Last week, the Senate voted 89-11 to extend the payroll tax cut, extend unemployment insurance benefits, and continue current Medicare reimbursements for two months.
The recession has taken its toll on Wisconsin families," said Baldwin. "I hear from families every day that are struggling to make ends meet. They share their stories of depleted savings and retirement accounts, doubts about whether they will be able to send their children to college, and fears of facing major illness without health insurance. Today's actions blocking consideration of an extension of the payroll tax cut is another blow to those struggling in this challenging economy. For those who are unemployed, the decision by House Republican leaders to block extension of unemployment benefits is particularly cruel," she said.
Had the bill been brought to the floor for a straight up or down vote on the agreed upon compromise, Baldwin said she believes it would have passed. "The American people strongly support extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits and avoiding deep cuts to Medicare reimbursements. Sadly, once again, Republican leaders in the House have caved in to the demands of the Tea Party extremists who oppose extending this middle class tax cut. I hope the leadership will reconsider and allow an up or down vote on the bipartisan compromise," Baldwin said.