Stopping Payroll Tax Increase
Last week, I voted in favor of the conference report to H.R. 3630, which extends the payroll tax cut. I’m pleased there was agreement to keep taxes from increasing. During 8.3% unemployment, which would be 11.4% if you included people who have stopped looking for work, raising taxes is not an option. President Obama signed this legislation into law on February 22, 2012.
H.R. 3630 prevented a 2% tax increase to all Americans beginning March 1st, cut funding to Obamacare, closed the “Strip-Club” loophole in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and forced changes to unemployment payments.
Specifically, H.R. 3630 does the following:
· Prevents a 2 percent tax increase on March 1st: H.R. 3630 extends the 2 percentage point payroll tax rebate for the remainder of 2012. If this was not enacted, every United States citizen who receives a pay check would have to pay an additional 2 percent of their wages to the Federal government beginning March 1st.
· Reduces Obamacare Funding: H.R. 3630 cuts $5 billion from an Obamacare slush fund, which was to be used for "public health."
· Closes the current "Strip Club Loophole" for welfare benefits: H.R. 3630 ensures that welfare funds cannot be accessed at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.
· Requires Federal Employees to Pay More for Retirement Benefits: H.R. 3630 requires ALL federal employees to pay more for their retirement benefits in their defined benefit pension plan, instead of taxpayers.
· Spectrum Auctions: H.R. 3630 allows the Federal Communications Commission to conduct incentive auctions in order to rearrange portions of the broadband spectrum (broadband internet) in order to use the spectrum more efficiently. This provision will spur innovation, investment, and job creation in the high-tech field.
· Forced Changes to Federal Unemployment Programs: H.R. 3630 reduces by 30 weeks the maximum number of weeks of all unemployment benefits payable.
Our country faces so many challenges. We must take action to put our country on a path toward economic growth that produces jobs and enables all folks an opportunity to succeed and excel. As we move forward, I will continue to support policies that keep taxes low, reduce the size of our government, and prevent the government takeover of health care.