House Republicans Offer Payroll Tax Bill
December 9, 2011 by Sam Rolley
On Friday, House Republicans released their version of a payroll tax cut extension that would also extend unemployment insurance and delay changes to doctorsâ€™ Medicare reimbursement rates.
The 369-page bill, called the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, is sponsored by Representative Â Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. The legislation could come up for vote as early as Tuesday, according to The Hill.
Many GOP leaders are confident that the bill has a strong chance to pass, although there is opposition from Democrats and President Barack Obama has indicated that he will veto the bill. Obamaâ€™s opposition to the legislation stems from an included provision that forces his Administration to make a permit decision on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that he has deferred until after the 2012 election.
The provision directs Obama to grant a permit for the pipeline within 60 days of passage. He is not, however, required to grant the permit if he determines that the pipeline â€śwould not serve the national interest.â€ť In that case, Obama would have 15 days to explain his position to Congress in a report.
The bill also includes measures that would weaken the healthcare reform law by repealing $8 billion in mandatory funding and cutting $34.9 billion for implementing the law, and it seeks to lessen the Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s ability to regulate air pollutants released by some industries.
To offset the billâ€™s cost, the legislation extends a pay freeze for Federal workers, prohibits millionaires from receiving unemployment benefits and food stamps, restricts benefits to illegal immigrants and gradually increases Medicare premiums for the wealthy.