Camp's Conference Committee Successfully Extends Payroll Tax Holiday, Reforms Unemployment & Prevents Cuts to Medicare Doctors
Friday, February 17, 2012
By Megan Piwowar
H.R. 3630 extends the payroll tax cut, and unemployment insurance benefits and prevents a deep cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors. Camp introduced the original House bill and was selected to chair the House-Senate conference committee tasked with drafting the final conference report.
"This agreement ensures middle-class Americans are not hit with a tax increase next month, while protecting the Social Security Trust Funds. Because of the President’s failed economic policies, far too many families are still struggling and this tax relief is necessary. However, we should remember that the real goal remains a strong, vibrant and job-creating economy, and true tax reform is the best way to get there," said Camp. Read Camp's floor statement here.
Speaking on the agreement reached between the House and Senate, Camp’s Senate counterpart and the conference committee’s vice chairman, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, "We came together to do the right thing for American families and jobs by making sure workers don't see a dip in their paychecks just as the economy is starting to recover. This compromise means money in the pockets of workers and that means more customers for businesses and more jobs."
In addition to providing tax relief to American workers, the legislation also enacted an extension through 2012 the so-called "doc fix" to ensure seniors have access to their doctors through Medicare and took significant steps to reform the nation’s unemployment program. Both programs are completely paid for without a single tax increase and without any budget gimmickry.
“A critical component of this package is the historic reforms to federal unemployment programs, which will now help the unemployed get the training and resources they need to move from an unemployment check to a paycheck. The package overturns arcane 1960s-era regulations and allows state’s to drug screen and test those most at-risk. In addition to securing these permanent reforms, the extension reduces weeks to a level more typical of previous economic recessions. Unlike previous extensions, these temporary benefits are completely paid for and do not add to the deficit. Stopping the runaway deficit spending on unemployment is a huge win for the American people. These programs have added nearly $200 billion to our debt in the last three years alone. Today, we have changed the way Washington works and demanded that these programs be fully paid for," said Camp.
The legislation also includes a provision that prevents beneficiaries of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the federal welfare program, from accessing funds from ATMs at strip clubs, liquor stores or casinos using their electronic benefits cards.
Click here to read the full conference report on the House Rules Committee’s web site.