Thursday, February 9, 2012
Reed calls for Conference Committee to Focus on Payroll Tax Holiday and Protecting Social Security;
Noting that time is running out on the payroll tax holiday, Congressman Tom Reed today called for a change in the focus of the House Senate Conference Committee dealing with the issue.
“We in the House have been here ready to work since before Christmas,” Reed said. “The Senate has only been engaged for the last three weeks and we have been talking mostly about unemployment since then. Our focus must shift to extending the payroll tax holiday before it expires on February 29 and paying for it in order to protect Social Security. The last thing hardworking taxpayers need is for Washington to take more of their money beginning March 1.”
Reed explained that the change is necessary because Senate negotiators have rejected the House proposal to extend unemployment benefits. “The ideological gap between the two sides is too wide to bridge on unemployment extension before Feb. 29. House Republicans believe that unemployment should be a temporary hand up to get people back to work and collecting paychecks rather than unemployment checks.”
Senate negotiators rejected encouraging those on unemployment to get a GED, rejected identifying and helping drug users who are on unemployment, and believe that the money to pay for extending unemployment benefits (currently paid for two years) should be borrowed in the name of future taxpayers.
“This is about all of us,” Reed said. “People deserve the truth. On March 1, taxes will go up on 160 million taxpayers if we do not get moving on the payroll tax extension right now. The House has passed a paid-for extension of the tax holiday. Let’s agree on a way to pay for extending it so that Social Security isn’t further threatened. If that means separating the issues so that we can deal with the payroll tax issue on its own, I am all for that.”