This week, the House of Representatives passed the Conference Report on H.R. 3630, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act, which would extend the two percent cut to the Social Security tax, referred to in the media as the payroll tax cut. The legislation also reformed unemployment benefits and provided funding to cover deep cuts for physicians who treat Medicare patients, known as the "doc fix." The unemployment benefits are paid for through revenue raised by the spectrum sale and the "doc fix" is paid for through cuts to ObamaCare. In addition, reforms were made to unemployment insurance. The maximum collection time in Georgia was reduced from 99 weeks to 73 weeks, and could potentially drop as low as 40 weeks depending upon Georgia's unemployment rate. The legislation allows states to drug test unemployment recipients. Congressman Westmoreland supported the legislation. Below is Congressman Westmoreland's statement.
"This vote was extremely tough for me. But, at the end of the day, I could not vote for a bill that raises taxes on hard-working American families at a time when gas prices are approaching $4 a gallon, unemployment remains high, and the housing market continues to decline. The federal government already wastes enough of your hard earned income -- they don't need or deserve any more.
"Obviously, this bill was not perfect. But, with this bill, I truly believe the good does outweigh the bad, and that it will help the people of Georgia's Third District more than it hurts. It secures the full extension of the payroll tax cut, keeping more money in your pocket each month. It makes certain seniors can continue to see their doctor of choice, and it makes much-needed reforms to unemployment insurance. Plus, it enacts the largest decrease in ObamaCare to date -- taking us one step closer to fully repealing it. All of these aspects will benefit Georgians, and that was why, after a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to vote in favor of this bill.
"As I have repeatedly said, this government doesn't have a revenue problem -- it has a spending problem. And I just could not support legislation that raises your taxes. I'd like to say the vote today will put an end to the political game of class warfare by the president and Congressional Democrats, where they pit American against American. Unfortunately, Republicans only control one half of one third of the government, so I think we are only going to see the end of that when Republicans take back the Senate and the White House in November. Until then, I promise you that I am going to keep fighting to reduce federal spending and get this country back on a fiscally responsible path -- but I will not let that happen through higher taxes on American families and small businesses," stated Westmoreland.