The state of West Virginia shows just how divisive the President's new legilation is. And that division shows up with special clarity in how Representatives and Senators voted to produce the "bipartisan" result that sent the new legislation forward to the White House, where it had originated. One liberal Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, of West Virginia cast his ballot against the Obama legislation in a move that serves has an object lesson to us all. Neverthele4ss, I for one am on the compromise that made the legislation possible.
Congress votes to
extend payroll tax cut
for 160 million workers
Read more: The Williamson Daily News -
Congress votes to extend payroll tax cut for 160M workers
“There are a number of provisions I oppose in this measure, and the American people deserve better than a litany of intermittent stop-gap measures,” Rahall said. “Nevertheless, we have a responsibility to ensure that Medicare payments for health care providers and unemployment benefits for working families are not interrupted.
“This measure will avert a painful tax increase next month while ensuring there is no interference with the Social Security benefits that are supposed to be paid to retirees and workers; the Social Security trust funds are protected and preserved.”
“I want to make sure that hardworking families have more money in their pockets - but this temporary policy is the absolute wrong way to do it because it cripples Social Security,” Manchin said. “I know that going back home and saying we voted for tax cuts is popular, but this is not a tax cut - this is a Social Security cut. Plain and simple.
“And knowing that we add 10,000 new 65 year-olds a day, and knowing that last year Social Security paid out more than it took in - how does that make any sense?”
“West Virginians sent me here to vote for changes for the next generation, not a feel-good program that will last only 10 months, jeopardize Social Security and put our country another $100 billion deeper in debt,” Manchin said. “What we need - and what I’ve pushed for - is meaningful, fair tax reform, something our families will know that they can count on and that won’t jeopardize Social Security.
“This bill today does the opposite - and that is not a formula for success for this country.”
Both provisions, the extension of the payroll tax cut and the renewing of unemployment benefits, were to expire in less than two weeks, and had been extended only two months during a December congressional fight that seared Republicans. They were determined to avoid a repeat in campaign season.
“The so-called experts will tell you that Social Security will be all right because we’ll backfill the reduced contributions with revenue from our general fund,” Manchin said. “But let me remind you that these are the same experts who have steered us to more than $15 trillion in debt - which is growing by $5 billion every business day. This is unsustainable.”
“It is amazing what happens when Congress focuses on doing the right thing instead of just playing politics,” Obama said at an appearance at a Boeing factory in Everett, Wash. “This was a good example, and Congress should take pride in it.”
“I voted to extend the temporary payroll tax holiday because I didn’t want taxes going up next month on millions of Americans,” McConnell said. “I don’t think the American people should have to suffer any more than they already have as a result of this president’s failure to turn the economy around.”
“Misinformed hyperbole aside, this is a responsible measure that keeps our promise to seniors and working families,” Rahall said.
Read more: The Williamson Daily News - Congress votes to extend payroll tax cut for 160M workers