The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Actby Representative Bobby L. Rush
Posted on 2013-01-04
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 4, 2013
Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, it is New Years 2013. The Nation now finds
itself at an urgent crossroads.
America has fallen over the fiscal cliff. Many of our fellow and most economically vulnerable Americans are now in a free fall. How far they fall and for how long will be up to Congress.
The House of Representatives should be deciding now, and by that I mean today, whether to pass the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012, which was passed in the Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan 89-8 vote.
If the House of Representatives fumbles this opportunity, it won't matter to these Americans which political party tells them that they did or did not cut taxes, or which party held more closely to its campaign promises.
What matters to the 2 million Americans who are currently unemployed is why are their unemployment benefits being held hostage to provide tax cuts for employed and more well-off Americans? The deal agreed to in the Senate provides a strong enough platform for our country's continued progress and economic recovery. That package will generate a good deal of the increased tax revenues that our U.S. Treasury needs to operate the government.
The Senate's package assures millions of students and unemployed and poor Americans that they will have the basics to carry out their daily lives and to advance their educational and career goals. Among other things, the Senate deal would also authorize the Farm Bill through September of this year.
Extending earned income and child care tax credits and benefits, as the Senate deal would do, may not mean much for middle class families and individuals. But guess what? Those credits and benefits are hugely important, for example, to a family of four under the poverty level, which on average makes only $21,000 per year.
The Senate's proposal, which the Majority should bring up immediately for a vote is a good compromise. It won't give Republicans everything that they want. Similarly, Democrats are not getting all of what they want in this package.
And rightly so--neither party has all the answers to the plethora of very complex fiscal problems we are facing. Compromise is the solution, just as compromise will be the solution when we come up against sequestration, the debt ceiling, and passing a continuing budget resolution.
I strongly urged you, Mr. Speaker, to call up H.R. 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act, as amended and passed by the Senate for a vote in this House. Let's stop dangling innocent and vulnerable Americans over the fiscal cliff; they've waited too long for us to act as it is.