The House of Representatives has passed a version of a plan that would extend the payroll tax cuts enacted for 2011. The plan also includes the acceleration of approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The bill, H.R. 3630, was originally known as the Welfare Integrity and Data Improvement Act (yup, not a word about payroll tax cuts in the title), and is most recently called the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 (better, right?). It passed the House with a 234-193 vote largely on party lines. Only ten Democrats supported the bill and a mere fourteen Republicans voted against it.
The bill would extend the payroll tax cuts to the end of 2012.
The bill would also (get ready):
- Accelerate approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline;
- Provide EPA Regulatory Relief;
- Extend bonus depreciation for business assets;
- Renew aid for unemployment benefits while limiting the time frame for receipt of benefits, as well as remove the restriction on states to utilize drug testing or educational requirements as a condition of receiving benefits;
- Extend Medicare payments for physicians;
- Extend certain provisions of National Flood Insurance Act;
- Implement the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum Act of 2011; and
(Deep breaths, we’re not done yet…)
- Pay for itself with a number of offsets including pay freezes for federal employees and eliminating the child tax credit for illegal immigrants.
The bill now goes to the Senate where there is no way it will pass as is. No way.
Congress has eighteen days to work this out. They’re on vacation for many of those days. Does anyone want to bet on the chances it’ll get done? Say, $10,000? (*insert Romney-like wink here*)