WASHINGTON - Along mostly partisan lines, the House passed a bill Tuesday evening to extend the payroll tax cut another year. DFL Rep. Tim Walz was one of just 10 Democrats to defy the party and support the measure, which passed 234-193. The remainder of Minnesota's congressional delegation voted with their respective parties except for GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was absent.
"I am sick of the political games being played in Washington," said Walz. "It is time to get things done. Tax breaks for the middle class will strengthen our economy and create jobs that will help us tackle the long-term national debt facing our country."
Along with the tax extension, the measure also extends unemployment assistance but scales back the benefits over time. But a series of policy provisions favored by Republicans and attached to the bill made it toxic for most Democrats. One measure overrides a recent White House move to delay a decision on whether to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it contains the pipeline language.
Freshman Republican Chip Cravaack hailed the bill's passage. In a statement, he said, "This bill is good for workers, Minnesota, and America," citing the estimated 20,000 jobs that the pipeline could create. Cravaack's statement also included support from a labor union official based in his district.
"We applaud Rep. Cravaack's effort to move the project forward and create work opportunities for heavy equipment operators and other skilled tradespeople," said Glen Johnson, Business Manager of Operating Engineers Local 49.
To offset the cost of the tax and unemployment measures, the bill continues a pay freeze for federal workers.
Rep. Betty McCollum said she was disturbed about some of the policy provisions in the bill, including a measure to allow states to require the jobless to submit to drug tests before getting unemployment benefits.
While this version of the bill is likely dead on arrival when it reaches the Democratic-controlled Senate, it serves as the House GOP's marker in a high-stakes negotiation with Senate Democrats about this issue and year-end spending bills. The tax measures expire at the end of the year and a short-term government funding measure expires Dec. 16.
Nice to see that Local 49 Manager Johnson and Rep Cravaack & Rep Walz can forget about Party Lines and "try" to work together to give XL the Green Light... :) JOBS!
I would advise anyone that is thinking about giving the SIERRA CLUB a check next year to scrap that idea and send one to both of these Reps that put the Working People of OUR country ahead of a Environmental HOAX!
The VOTE BETTY sign I have hanging in the shop will be hitting the Trash Can ToDay!
Thank you Congressman Walz for being a true leader. The middle class tax cuts are much needed, and so are the jobs that will come with the permitting of the Keystone Pipeline.
We need more people like Tim Walz in Congress,
People that are in the business of getting things done, of creating jobs, of working for the middle class.
Thank you Congressman Walz!
Mark D has fallen prey to the oil industry’ greedy Koch boys’ propaganda. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see people that gullible. It’s funny in some ways, but in other ways, it’s scary to think that anyone can be so easily persuaded to deny 100% of the scientific organizations, along with all the evidence that we see and live through that is EXACTLY what has been described by the scientific community for years. Increased weather volatility, wild fires, draughts, and the mere fact the temperature has changed. I guess that's what happens when susceptible people turn on FOX news; there is a reason that people who watch FOX news know less than those who don’t watch any news.
What I do KNOW for sure is that no one that ignorant ever had a Vote Betty sign hanging anywhere.
I just hope after redistricting I am represented by Tim Walz instead of donor-driven John Kline. Walz works for the good of regular Minnesotans, even though he knows some of his votes will raise concerns with some of his constituents.
I'm confident the final bill will be something the other MN Democrats can support, too. There is nothing more important than ensuring that working Americans can find jobs. Nobody should be suffering for the state of the economy any more than the bankers on Wall Street are.
Dear LibbyMN,, You must be seriously having an Emotional SEIZURE! Next you will be calling me a 1%er? I COULD ONLY WISH!
Fact is I refuce to watch any news because its ALL worthless! I think on my own and I can stand on my own! I don't need to be fed Propaganda from Scientist that need to keep Global Warming alive just to collect a Government Check. Look back to 1829 when the Mirror was invented by them Dirty Capitalist and you will find that the Consensus among all the great Scientist was the "Mirror" was a Port-Hole to another world. Now just think if you had been alive back then..SEIZURE! As for Betty, Time in DC has changed her brain waves.. She really does not care about the people in St Paul unless the Environmentalist tell her its ok! People like You and Vote Betty have Destroyed the Democrat Party to the point where one has to support a Republican just to put food on the table! Now open your : Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook and on page 7 it will tell you to turn off your Computer when you Confront a Flat Earthier and do your part in saving Mother Earth!
SCAM for the SHEEPLE as China smokes us all out>>>>>>>>>
I agree that division must end but not by pushing Americans off of a cliff together. HR 3630 addresses many more items than the media and officials are disclosing. They, once again, included items that we need passed immediately with items only wanted by their largest financial contributors. HR 3630 is yet another political ploy created in an attempt to falsely discredit those in office that oppose it. It angers me that people in Congress continue to work against the American people for their own personal gain. It hurts me to see Tim Walz join in on this.
Please, read for yourselves; http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3630ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3630ih.pdf
Leann, The clear defference between them that want the XL and them that Oppose, is a Full Belly.
I know of way to many skilled people in this line of work with Families that have been either out of work or working in $10.00 per hour factory jobs. The XL is 100% Privately funded and will give the Federal Government coffers a big bump. The advanced technology
involved in this pipe-line is way beyond any agenda driven Media flakes could understand. I don't think you or anyone should be to hard on Rep Walz ,,Im sure he knows more about the XL technology then the Media could ever feed you!