“Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas is fast approaching for families across America. And what do the families see coming out of Washington? Dysfunction, and half of the Congress unwilling to do its job.
"We were elected to work for the best interests of the American people. And in this tough economy, middle class Americans and working families need to know that their taxes won’t be going up at any point next year.
“So far the House has passed a bipartisan year-long plan to ensure that taxes do not go up. The Senate, on the other hand, has passed a two-month plan. According to experts, the two-month plan is simply unworkable. Families, employers, and workers can’t live their lives month to month. Washington needs to stop adding confusion and more uncertainty to people’s lives. I think we can all agree that the two-month concept doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is a two-month patch is irresponsible.
“That is why the House is taking a stand. We believe all Americans deserve certainty. We want a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut, which will prevent a tax increase on every American with a job. Luckily, everyone claims to agree. In fact, the President himself said it would be 'inexcusable' not to extend the payroll tax cut for a year. The Leader of the Senate says that we should be working on extending the payroll tax for a year, but only after the New Year.
“A great Virginian once said, 'Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.' That man was Thomas Jefferson. So let us dedicate ourselves to that spirit. People across our great country are tired of hearing why Washington cannot do things. They’re seeing day in and day out that Washington is not working together. But we have the ability to give them hope. Let’s show the American people there’s a reason to believe that we can deliver results.
“The truth is we’re not far apart. The negotiators got extremely close. We owe some stability and good tax policy to the hard working people of this country, not more gimmicks and political games.
"Today, this House will vote to go to conference and work these differences out in regular order. We need to come together in a responsible manner to find common ground where we can accomplish everyone’s goal of a year-long payroll tax extension.
“There is no reason why the House, the Senate, and the President cannot spend the next two weeks working to get that done. America will be waiting.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)
House Floor Remarks
December 20, 2011