(KMTR) – U.S. House Representative Peter DeFazio is speaking out after another bitter divide in the U.S. Congress goes down to the wire, threatening American workers and the unemployed.
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner indicated that U.S. House Republicans agreed to extend a bill many know as the “Payroll Tax Cut” for another two months through February 2012.
For the most part, the bill is about a reduction of how much of your paycheck goes into Social Security benefits.
Families who make $50,000 a year see an average of an extra 40 dollars per month with the “payroll tax cut” bill.
The payroll tax cut also extends long term unemployment insurance for about 2-million Americans, also keeps increased payments for doctors who are seeing Medicare patients.
The U.S. House wanted a one year extension of the bill, not just a two month extension. In response the U.S. House tried to block the bill.
“These sorts of things, this is unprecedented, I don't think there's been a time this partisan,” says Rep. Peter DeFazio
At his office in Eugene on Thursday, U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio says in general, he did not support the idea of the cut because he says it’s not creating jobs. DeFazio says the bill is merely cutting money from Social Security and being made up for through borrowing.
DeFazio says he’d like to see an infrastructure bill, but cannot get lawmakers to agree on how to fund it.
“I do feel discouraged. Like I said before, it's the most bitterly partisan Congress I've ever served in, and I've been in the minority before, I'm not complaining about that. But the last time I was in the minority, we could come together and agree on critical things,” says DeFazio.
DeFazio says the last 800-billion dollar stimulus bill dedicated 7% of its cash to infrastructure job. He says that cash created 25% of the jobs in the stimulus effort.
While an infrastructure bill waits for DeFazio, the lawmaker says he’s come up with a bi-partisan effort with fellow Representatives Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden to restart logging on Southern Oregon BLM forest land, also known as O&C lands. That plan would partially replace Oregon’s timber payments. The lawmakers plan to introduce the bill in early 2012.