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House approves unemployment, payroll tax cut extensions

February 17, 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives approved today an extension of the payroll tax cut through 2012, extended unemployment compensation and prevented a reduction in physician reimbursements under Medicare.

After the 293-to-132 vote, Rep. Adam Schiff, who voted for the legislative package, issued a statement, saying he was pleased with the outcome.

“While our economy is making definite progress, we still have a long way to go,” Schiff said in his statement. “We can’t afford to damage the fragile recovery when millions of Americans are still out of work and millions more are struggling to stay afloat.”

He said the payroll tax cut extension will put almost $1,000 a year in the pockets of middle-class families through larger paychecks every month.

It was also imperative to avoid a “sudden and enormous” Medicare fee cut for doctors who treat seniors, Schiff said.

“We must preserve seniors’ access to the best care, and we need to find a permanent fix for this yearly problem,” according to his statement.

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Schiff said he was disappointed, however, that the package is paid for again, in part, by middle-class workers who happen to be federal employees.

“Time and time again, we pay for much-needed legislation by targeting federal workers – many of whom are also struggling to get by,” Schiff said in his statement. “We should not be extending tax cuts for America's most wealthy while cutting the compensation for working families."

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-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Twitter: @LAMarkKellam

Photo: Congressman Adam Schiff at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Credit: Raul Roa/Staff Photographer.

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