Maloney statement on full-year extension of payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance aid
I commend my colleagues for reaching an agreement on a longer term extension of the payroll tax cut. While this bill is not perfect, it does provide the average American middle-class family with an additional $1,000 over the year through the payroll tax cut extension, it continues Unemployment Insurance through the end of the year, and prevents cuts in Medicare physician payment rates. More than 160 million Americans will benefit from the payroll tax extension and millions of seniors using Medicare will be able to continue to see the doctor of their choice.
Despite the assistance this legislation will provide to millions across the country, I have reservations about a number of problematic provisions. The Republican Majority continues to put the burden of the recession on federal public servants. By requiring an increase in retirement payments by new employees, this legislation further undermines the Federal Government’s ability to attract and retain the best talent. The vital services provided by the more than 2 million civilian employees cannot be compromised. It is time this Congress recognized the service that federal employees provide to our senior citizens and the disabled, to our military service members and veterans, and to our overall safety and health. In addition, the reduction in weeks of unemployment insurance benefits starting in May will put a hard burden on some of America’s hardest hit families. Lastly, the cuts to reimbursements for hospitals who serve large numbers of un-and-under-insured patients will put the load of the cost directly on the hospitals providing care.
Despite these concerns, I support this bill today because the extensions help this country continue on a path of job creation and economic growth. We are well in to the second session of the 112th Congress and still my colleagues on the other side have failed to bring meaningful jobs legislation before the House for a vote. It is time the Republican Majority responded to calls from the American people to strengthen our workforce for middle class families.