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Feb 13, 2012 6:59 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Bishop Pushes For Payroll Tax Cut Extension

Feb 14, 2012 5:52 PM

U.S. Representative Tim Bishop urged members of Congress last week to approve legislation that would extend a nationwide 2-percent payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits to the end of the year. The congressman also pushed for legislation that would prevent a sharp drop in Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Mr. Bishop, a Democrat, led the charge on the floor of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last week by introducing a motion to instruct members of both the House and the Senate to complete their work on the measures by this Friday, February 17, according to a press release issued by his office.

The measures, Mr. Bishop stated, are important because they would be “providing certainty to 160 million Americans that their paycheck will not shrink next month, extending a lifeline to Americans who have lost their job through no fault of their own, and reassuring seniors that 
they will be able to see the doctor of their choice.”

Republicans have hesitated on the payroll tax cut legislation, approving a two-month extension in December after much squabbling. Time is running out, as the measure expires at end of February, according to the statement.

The 2-percent payroll tax cut would keep $1,329 in the pockets of the average Suffolk County family from March until the end of the year, according to figures in Mr. Bishop’s statement derived by data from a Congressional committee.

“As we’ve debated these issues for several months, we’ve seen the data and heard from economists who say extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance is good for American families, businesses and economic growth,” Mr. Bishop stated. “It isn’t the silver bullet to solving all of our nation’s problems, but it’s a step in the right direction, a step that can provide some relief to the unemployed and stimulate consumer spending, which is fundamental to improving the overall economy.”

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