Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today urging House Republicans to work with Democrats on the bipartisan Senate bill extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits:
“The extreme, Tea Party faction of the House Republican conference has once again walked away from a legislative compromise which addresses critical challenges confronting the American people. This action again emphasizes the extreme views and rigidity of the House Republicans even though 80% of the Republican members of the U.S. Senate supported this compromise.
“While Democrats don’t like everything in this bill, we recognize that it must be passed to prevent a tax increase on middle class families. But instead of working together, House Republicans are irresponsibly refusing to compromise. If they delay action and refuse to pass this bill, they will be increasing taxes on middle class families, cutting off unemployment insurance benefits for Americans who lost jobs through no fault of their own, and cutting off seniors’ access to their doctors.
“Given the fact that the majority of Senate Republicans supported this bipartisan agreement, one can only conclude that the deep divisions in the House Republican conference are the result of an opposition to middle class tax cuts. Republicans continue to refuse to ask the best-off Americans to contribute to solving our nation’s fiscal challenges and to helping those who are unemployed at a time when there are still too few jobs for Americans looking for work. But while they consistently fight to protect the wealthy, they are not willing to do the same for the middle class.
“The American public should clearly understand their disgust and disappointment is a result of this kind of Republican conduct that puts a continued commitment to confrontation above all else. Americans want reasonableness and common sense, and they are not getting it from this dysfunctional Republican-led House. Democrats have proven again and again this year and during the previous Bush Administration that we are willing to work together for the American people, providing the votes on multiple occasions to keep government open and ensure America pays its bills. I urge Republican leaders to break their pattern of opposition and confrontation, and instead work with us to pass this bipartisan agreement.”