Lipinski Votes Against Motion that Risks a Middle-Class Tax Hike, Expiration of Unemployment Insurance, and a Loss of Seniors' Access to Their Doctors (December 20, 2011)

 Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) voted against the House Republican motion to go to conference with the Senate on H.R. 3630 because it could lead to a congressional standoff that would result in increased middle-class taxes and an expiration of unemployment benefits, as well as a steep Medicare cut that would cause many seniors to lose access to their doctors. The motion requests a conference with the Senate on the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, H.R. 3630, with no opportunity to vote on the Senate’s two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, which also prevents the Medicare cut. Though he would strongly prefer to see a long-term extension of these measures important to the middle class, Rep. Lipinski believes that given the Senate’s current refusal to return to work in Washington, the House should vote to pass the Senate’s two-month bill.

“I cast this vote because I do not want to risk an increase in taxes, a loss of seniors’ access to their doctors, and the end of unemployment benefits for those hit hard by the economy,” Rep. Lipinski said. “The Senate bill is better than nothing, and right now we have no other alternative if the Senate will not return. But I am thoroughly disappointed that the Senate left town without reaching an agreement to extend these measures for a longer term. No one wants to be home with their family preparing for Christmas more than I do, but that is no reason for the Senate to have left town early Saturday with only a two-month extension passed. All that a two-month bill does is prolong the debate on this issue for two more months. Congress will be right back where it started when it returns to session in January. We will be deep in the Republican nominating process and closer to the election and we will waste valuable time on a matter that should already have been addressed. As a result, it will be that much harder for Congress to take action to promote job creation and to address such matters as the long-delayed transportation bill, the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, and other issues critical to middle-class Americans.

“Congress has got to stop bickering and kicking the can down the road on important matters as Americans continue to suffer. As I told those who attended my town hall meeting last month, I am as fed up with Congress as they are. The House is getting little done for the American people and the Senate has largely ceased to function. But I will continue to fight as I always have for the middle-class workers and retirees of the Third District and the nation.”

(December 20, 2011)