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Congresswoman Sanchez Criticizes Republicans for Nixing Bill to Extend Payroll Tax Cuts & Unemployment Benefits

Cerritos and Artesia residents could see an increase in their payroll taxes starting Jan. 1. Some unemployed locals may also see their long-term unemployment benefits expire.

The Republican-controlled House today blocked a bipartisan bill that would have kept payroll taxes down through 2012 and extended unemployment benefits to millions of struggling Americans.

The House vote, 229-193, brings the measure back to the Senate, where the two-month plan passed Saturday with an 89-10 vote. It also calls for the formation of a negotiating committee to help Republicans and Democrats come to an agreement on the issues. 

If Congress doesn’t pass a bill by Dec. 31, 160 million Americans will bring home smaller paychecks at the start of the year with payroll taxes rising to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, meaning workers will lose about $1,000 annually.

The rejection of this bill also means that long-term unemployment benefits will expire for roughly 3 million people starting Jan. 1. An automatic 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors will also kick in at the start of the year.

“My family is already living paycheck to paycheck,” an Artesia woman named Jean told Patch when asked about how the increased payroll tax might affect her. “I also have a few friends who are struggling to find jobs and need their unemployment checks until they can get back on their feet.”

Artesia and Cerritos currently have a total of 2,500 jobless individuals. During the month of November, unemployment in Artesia was at 8.3 percent (700 unemployed), and it was at 6.3 percent in Cerritos (1,800 unemployed), according to California Employment Development Department.

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-Lakewood), who represents the 39th District, including the cities of Artesia and Cerritos, voted in favor of the bill.

“Once again, Speaker (John) Boehner and House Republicans have chosen to raise taxes on millions of American families, cut unemployment benefits, and deny seniors the Medicare services they’ve earned,” said Sanchez. “Instead, Republicans continue to fight for tax breaks for billionaires. Tea Party Republicans are clearly out of touch with mainstream America. My constituents and all Californians deserve better. ”

Republican lawmakers argued that setting tax policies in two-month increments would only lead to more economic uncertainty in 2012. But Democrats believe that the proposed legislature is imperative in preventing tax increases due to kick in New Year’s Day, adding that today’s vote also shows a lack of regard for the struggling middle class.

Dennis December 21, 2011 at 05:56 PM
I believe it is your party Ms Sanchez that is in favor of higher taxes, higher medical costs and fewer freedoms for the citizens of the US. But, you are in favor of all kinds of benefits to non citizens (people here illegally).
Michael Brown December 21, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Shameful. It just goes to show how inept and tone-deaf both of these corporate parties are to the plight of working people, the poor and the elderly. The real issue isn't the gridlock, but why is the proposed legislation only two months long? What, are all of the intended beneficiaries intended to drop dead after a couple months? Sanchez's faux outrage is laughable. The Democrats, along with the Republicans, are co-conductors guiding this austerity train.
Dennis December 22, 2011 at 05:41 AM
My sentiments exactly.
Dennis December 22, 2011 at 05:48 AM
Wait a minute. Is the issue a tax cut? Are we talking about social security tax cuts? The democrats for years have refused to call social security withholding a tax. It was a insurance contribution. By this tax cut are we taking money out of the social security trust fund? Shouldn't they be trying to find ways to fund social security for future generations? I have also heard that there is a provision in the bill to tax new home purchases and refinances to pay for this. Any substance to that?
Christine December 27, 2011 at 02:24 AM
I absolutely agree with your statement about fewer freedoms for the US citizens, Dennis. I have a child going to school in one of the UC's & another one about to graduate high school. I was absolutely disgusted that there is this 'Dream Act' which translates to me as 'you're a US citizens and want to go to college? Well, you are actually a 'second-class citizen' because we have to support these 'non-citizens' first'. Hey, how about this -> rather than 'give' money to these 'non-citizens' [through welfare, etc], why not cut down on these social services or actually be more stricter in obtaining it. Maybe people would be less likely to come to America if the handout were not that easily obtainable & then maybe - just maybe - we can concentrate on the legal citizens that are here.

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