Despite the U.S. House cave in, Dold bats home run in voting for $1,000 instead of $67

December 23, 2011

I am still of the persuasion that had House Republicans been able to effectively get out the truth, as did my own 10th District representative, Bob Dold, the outcome would have been different. 

Just why did Republican senators agree to the Senate bill which is silly legislation and which would be difficult to enact?  Do they have no spine!?  They must have more faith than I do that Democrats will extend the two months to one year when the occasion rolls around in 2012.

With the above in mind, readers must decide whether the agreement reached on Friday, December 23 was a good one for the American people on the basis of the facts I presented about the two chamber bills in this article, “10th District Dold bats a home run in voting for $1,000 instead of $67 before House caves in.”

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Recently expressed was how Congressman Robert Dold (IL-10) was leaning to the left of his predecessor, Mark Kirk, on sanctity of life and sexual responsibility.  Just to set the record straight, as one who has lived in the10th District during Kirk’s tenure as a U.S. congressman, there is no daylight between Kirk and Dold.  Both, as moderate Republicans, are pro-abortion and anti-family promoters.

I was pleased, however, as a conservative by an informational e-mail I received from Bob Dold as a constituent on Tuesday, December 20.  The subject of his mailing was “$1000 or $167.”

Dold wrote how he voted last week for bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives that provided a one-year payroll tax cut as was initially requested by President Obama. The same House bipartisan legislation further protects seniors’ health care for the next two years by ensuring doctors in the Medicare program that reinforcement are not cut more 27%.  

The Senate, by contrast, passed its version of a payroll tax “holiday” measure on Saturday, December 18 which cuts taxes and protects seniors for only the next sixty days.  Senators then scurried out of town for the holidays.  

In describing the House plan, Dold explained how an American worker making $50,000 is certain to receive a tax cut of $1,000 next year.  In contrast, the bill passed by the Senate of December 18 would only guarantee the same worker a $167 tax cut. 

Also notable in the House bill is a key provision for a pay freeze for congressional members not included in the Senate version.

Bob Dold then went on to inform constituents of his vote on Tuesday, December 20 to take the House to conference to work out the differences and how the Senate is refusing to take the bill to conference by coming back to Washington, D.C. before the end of the year.  In fact, senators have left town with no plans to return until January 23, 2012.  

Finally, Dold’s constituents were given a chance to register their thoughts on-line through a three-question poll.  Dold’s position was the favored one at the time I took the poll.

Here is the catch:  Democrats are playing a political game. House Republicans, caught in a deceitful web spun by Democrats, are painting Republicans as the villains, when the real culprit in the payroll tax debacle is the U.S. Senate.  Even among fellow Republicans, including John McCain, House Republicans are being plummeted for standing their ground in pushing for solid conservative policies. 

In tandem, Speaker Boehner is also being accused of having allowed eighty or so Tea Party-elected representatives to create the existing gridlock, even though the representatives were sent to Washington in 2010 with the expectation that they would stand firm for conservative principles and not be bullied into advancing the President’s agenda deemed not right for this nation.

For good reason there are  two chambers of Congress so when there is a disagreement between the two chambers they can sit down and resolve those differences.  Senate Republicans are willing to return, but Senate Democrats remain obstinate.

On December 31 the payroll tax “holiday” will expire which will mean higher taxes for working Americans, fees for physicians and hospitals providing Medicare services will be severely cut, and additional weeks of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed will run out.  

As explained in The Heritage Morning Bell report of Wednesday, Dec. 21 — Senators, Do Your Job and Get to Work — the House bill 1) “would at least prevent the looming tax hike for all working Americans, 2) extend additional unemployment benefits, and 3) prevent cuts to Medicare providers with another ‘Doc Fix’ for a full year.”  Also included in the House bill are some policies helpful to job creation as well as an important change to fix Medicare’s finances.    morningbell@heritage.org <mailto:morningbell@heritage.org

Regarding the Senate’s bill:  “Unable to get the job done right, the Senate passed a measly two-month extension of the three House measures and quickly got out of Dodge, a.k.a. the Nation’s capital.  Somehow, this is supposed to reassure us that Reid and the rest of his Senate colleagues are able to do the people’s business.” 

Just what has been left undone by the Senate bill (according to The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell report of Wednesday, December 21:  “Senators, Do your Job and Get to Work):
1.  Working Americans will have no idea whether or not they’ll suffer a tax hike when the extension expires.

2.  Employers will take on additional costs in having to change their payroll systems to keep up with Washington’s policy du jour.

3  For small businesses who do payroll by hand, it will be a bigger pain in the neck.

4. Some good old-fashioned class warfare is included limiting the amount of income that qualifies for payroll tax relief so that upper-income earners don’t get more than their ‘fair share’ of the tax relief during this brief two-month period.  

While the American people are wondering about the size of their paycheck as January 1st, 2012 approaches, the House is in one corner, the President in another, and Senators have checked out this year for good instead of going to conference to iron out the differences between their legislation and the House version. 

The people’s business is not being done.  It is ironic that the onus is being place on the House by many Americans for the stalemate that now exists, when it is the House that is willing to do the people’s business.  It is the Senate that has dropped the ball!

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