Great video of Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) questioning Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) on the emergency status of the payroll tax cut, and generally taking partisan political grandstanding to the woodshed. The issue is extending the payroll tax cut, AFTER finding a way to pay for it. Ellmers tells Waxman there is only an emergency – if he wants to tax small business owners/job providers. But she raises Democrat “fairness” and compares it to real fairness, as well, and hidden in this is a debate on freezing the pay of federal employees. See the video below.
Partial Video Transcript:
If this were an emergency, we would have passed this at the end of the year, 2011…that is why what you say is completely and totally incorrect. [Waxman tries to break in. Ellmers refuses to yield time.] This is not an emergency…
Senator Cardin, we keep hearing about “fairness” from you. Fairness. The Purveyor of Fairness. How is it fair to continue to ask our Seniors to have a COLA freeze for two years and yet we will continue to pay our federal workers without that? Is that fair to our Seniors?…The point being, that already existed and now you are basically saying that our federal employees, who make more than those in the private sector, should not be touched.
Moving on to this proposal, when we are talking about Medicare for individuals for MediCare Part B, who are part of the higher income, $400,000 or more, we are asking them to pay in the Part B, they’ll pay $300, a little more than $300 a month for their premium.
This is the President’s proposal. The three provisions we have put forward today for the $70 BILLION are all bipartisan, have already been bipartisan. Why is it today in this conference committee that all of a sudden it is not?
These are things Republicans and Democrats have voted on in the past. That is why they were chosen – because they were already in agreement, and yet somehow today they are not. How is that possible?
Ms. Schwartz voted for the pay freeze. That’s a good indication of where we’re at and yet we are continuing on with this charade, as if that’s not the case. This is the President’s language. Which one of you is going to go to the President and tell him that you don’t agree with his policy? I’d like to see that. We have got to move forward. We have all said that this is a time-sensitive issue. We should have taken care of it at the end of the year. It should have been done, but it was not, so here we are today. Let’s move forward. We all already agree on these provisions. Let’s move forward. We’re at $70 BILLION. We’re halfway there.
Senator Ben Cardin told the committee that extending the pay freeze for civilian federal works should not be a part of the payroll “tax holiday.” That is the “fairness” you hear Ellmers question.
The payroll tax cuts end this month. Here’s the real emergency – a Congressional recess:
Congress’s deadline is tighter than it appears because lawmakers begin a weeklong recess Feb. 20. After that, they will have only a few days until the expiration of the popular tax cut, which reduces the tax to 4.2% of a worker’s salary from 6.2%.
The package being debated also could extend enhanced unemployment benefits, which currently last as long as 99 weeks for jobless workers. And it would adjust the Medicare-payment system to avoid a drop in doctors’ fees.
In Ellmer’s 2nd District, she is unchallenged in the November elections at this time. In 2008 she took the Democrat seat held by Angry Bob Etheridge (remember his assault on a student reporter?). We can count on a Democrat contender. In fact, the New York Times quotes the Congresswoman in an article on public outrage of the performance of Congress, saying inter-parties challenges are a reality as well. More at RedState. Thanks to Dan Riehl Thanks to BadBlue.
Renee Ellmers Henry Waxman: Paying for the Payroll Tax Cut (video)