For Immediate Release
Date: Friday, February 17, 2012
Contact: Matthew Morgan – 202-226-5543
Conyers Applauds Passage of Payroll Tax Compromise; Calls on Michigan Legislature to Restore State Unemployment Benefits
(WASHINGTON) – Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement today in response to the passage of the conference report for H.R. 3630 – Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011.
“Today’s passage of the payroll tax conference report will ensure that jobless Americans retain access to needed unemployment benefits, America’s seniors are able to see the doctor of their choice, and American families will avoid a $1,000 tax increase,” said Conyers. “While not perfect, I supported this compromise legislation because it will stabilize the current economic recovery and help keep economic relief flowing to families in Southeast Michigan.
“I do want to express my disappointment that other provisions in the compromise which cut benefits for federal workers and place burdensome requirements on welfare recipients will force low-income and middle-class Americans to make additional sacrifices, while, yet again, nothing is asked of the wealthiest 1 percent. Helping the richest Americans avoid paying their fair share makes for bad policy and exacerbates already unacceptably high levels of income inequality in our country.
“Although it was critical that Congress act to partially extend federal emergency unemployment benefits, I am deeply disappointed that the conference committee was unable to fully extend current benefit levels through the end of the year. We risk inflicting unnecessary harm to Michigan families and our state’s economy by arbitrarily and abruptly cutting off access to unemployment benefits at various points in the upcoming year.
“In light of these cutbacks at the federal level, it is now more important than ever for the Michigan Legislature to move quickly to reinstate a law that provided jobless Michiganders with 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Reinstating these benefits would be a particularly appropriate use for the $400 million budget surplus recently announced by Governor Snyder.”
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