WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) today voted for H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The bill includes provisions to extend current payroll tax relief, extend and reform the federal unemployment insurance program, ensure Medicare beneficiaries continue to receive the level of care they deserve, help create and preserve domestic manufacturing jobs and promote American energy security. Extensions of payroll tax relief and unemployment insurance are fully paid for through responsible cuts to federal spending, as well as the continuation of the current pay freeze and reduced retirement benefits for federal workers, including Members of Congress.
“While our nation fights to overcome the prolonged economic downtown, this bill advances numerous policies that are critical to the American people and domestic job creators,” said Rep. Dent. “By passing H.R. 3630, the House has taken the first step to prevent a tax increase on hard-working Americans by extending temporary payroll tax relief for an additional year. The bill also extends the federal unemployment insurance program while implementing common-sense reforms that will help more Americans get back to work, and ensures countless seniors maintain access to their current doctors by preventing a 27.4% cut to physicians’ Medicare reimbursement rates next year.”
“Furthermore, H.R 3630 addresses excessive federal regulations that stifle job growth in numerous sectors of our economy and extends 100 percent business expensing through 2012 to allow job creators to invest in their growth,” continued Rep. Dent. “Finally, H.R. 3630 establishes a process for the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. Not only will the construction of this crucial infrastructure create thousands of jobs for American workers, it will also provide the energy resources needed to fuel our economic recovery.”
Summary of H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act:
Extends Current Payroll Tax Relief
The bill provides a one-year extension of the temporary payroll tax relief enacted in 2010. The measure ensures taxes will not increase on the nearly 170 million Americans who currently pay payroll taxes, saving the average American family $1,000 in 2012.
Extends the Unemployment Insurance Program & Implements Common-Sense Reforms
The bill extends unemployment insurance (UI) program benefits while implementing permanent reforms to strengthen UI. Recognizing that unemployment services should focus on helping Americans get back to work, the bill uses a two-step process to gradually reduce current maximum weeks of benefits from 99 to 59 weeks, a common-sense level that is in line with past recessions and economic downturns. H.R. 3630 also requires all state and federal UI recipients to, as a condition of eligibility, search for work, enroll in a GED program if they have not finished high school (with exceptions for older workers), and participate in reemployment services to help them get back to work. Additionally, the measure allows states, if they desire, to perform drug screening and testing as a condition of providing UI benefits in order to improve prospects for future employment.
Helps Create Jobs
The bill accelerates a final decision on the Keystone XL energy pipeline – requiring a permit be granted within 60 days unless the President determines the project is not in the national interest. Similar legislation passed the House with bipartisan support earlier this year. The measure extends 100% business expensing through 2012 to make it easier for employers of all sizes to invest in new machinery and equipment, grow their businesses, and create jobs. The bill stops the onerous new boiler MACT rule and requires the Obama administration to develop a more sensible alternative that balances the need to protect both jobs and the environment. Similar legislation passed the House in a bipartisan fashion earlier this fall.
Includes Two-Year “Doc Fix”
The bill ensures Medicare beneficiaries maintain their current level of care by implementing a two-year “doc fix” that protects Medicare physicians from large reimbursement cuts scheduled to take place next year.
Offsets Payroll and UI Extension through Spending Cuts, Not Tax Increases
The bill includes spending cuts in government programs – not tax increases on job creators – to fully pay for extending current payroll tax relief and UI benefits. This includes extending the current pay freeze for federal workers, including Members of Congress, eliminating government benefits for millionaires and billionaires, and reforming entitlement programs – many ideas for which President Obama has already expressed support.