Today, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, which addresses several key issues that must be resolved by the New Year.
In order to create jobs and foster energy independence, this bill directs President Obama to act on the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that has been delayed for more than three years. Approving the pipeline will reduce energy prices and our dependence on foreign oil while creating up to 118,000 jobs nationwide—at absolutely no cost to taxpayers.
This pipeline could also create jobs for Georgians. Once the Keystone oil reaches Houston, it will be shipped by existing pipelines to Rome, Atlanta, North Augusta, and Athens for customers. With millions of barrels of Middle Eastern oil shipped to us daily and the unemployment rate at 9 percent, we cannot afford to wait any longer.
H.R. 3630 also includes a two-year “doc-fix” on Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians. Right now, hospitals and Medicare physicians are facing drastic cuts. Without this fix, seniors may have difficulty finding doctors able to treat them. While I am committed to a long-term solution, this temporary fix will allow seniors to keep their physicians while giving Congress time to replace the SGR formula.
As I’ve said before, Washington has a spending problem—not a revenue problem. Raising taxes during a recession won’t eliminate our nation’s budget issues. H.R. 3630 extends the payroll tax holiday for middle class workers for another year. The bill reforms government programs and gradually reduces unemployment insurance from 99 to 79 weeks, and ultimately 59 weeks. In addition, it freezes federal pay, closes Obamacare “slush funds”, and reforms the welfare system by prohibiting individuals from accessing welfare funds in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos. This overhaul will save billions over the next ten years.
Next year, House Republicans will continue to focus on job creation while taking up other critical issues. However, H.R. 3630 begins to address debt reduction, welfare reform, and job creation. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to support this critical legislation.
To learn more about the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, click here.