Tell your legislators that they must extend -- without any harmful provisions -- both the unemployment benefits and the reduction in payroll taxes through 2012. The continued high unemployment rate is draining our nation’s resources. These economic boosts are critical.
The extension of unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed, and the reduction of payroll tax were signed into law on December 23, 2011. However, this law only lasts until February 29, 2012. Assistance to eligible long-term unemployed workers would end in the week ending on or before March 6, 2012. The payroll tax reduction would end at the same time, increasing the tax paid by all employees by two percent. This would make it increasingly difficult for low- and middle-income families to meet their responsibilities.
In December, competing House and Senate bills were considered. With pressure to get home for the holidays, Congress agreed to the Senate bill – the two-month extension. A conference committee was formed and they are trying to agree on legislation to extend both provisions through 2012 by coming to some compromise between the House and the Senate versions. Historically, unemployment benefits have been considered emergency spending, and did not require offset savings. However, in the current congressional climate, offsetting spending is required.
The House bill contains provisions that are cruel and would be devastating to most people in need of unemployment benefits.