By Sonia Isotov
Congressman Mazie Hirono issued a statement today saying that the US House Majority has thrown out the bipartisan agreement passed overwhelmingly by the Senate that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
If not extended by December 31, 2011, the payroll tax that every employee pays on each paycheck will increase from 4.2%, to 6.2% on January 1, 2012.
Hirono said in her statement that instead of passing the agreement, House Majority’s aim is to reopen negotiations in an attempt to force the Senate to include in the bill many poison pill provisions, like requiring a high school diploma to receive unemployment benefits.
President Obama has said that the Senate’s compromise bill is “the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1.” That bill passed the Senate 89-10 this past weekend.
“The House Majority’s gift to 700,000 workers in Hawaii is to raise their taxes by not extending the payroll tax cut and cut unemployment for 3,000 people in the islands in January,” said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono, in a written statement.
“The Majority says they want to negotiate, but the Senate already rejected their proposal. Instead, they’re trying to jam through a bunch of poison pill provisions that hurt middle class families. The time for negotiations is over. We need to act now and pass the bipartisan compromise that Senate Republicans and Democrats negotiated and the President is ready to sign. Hawaii’s families are depending on this,” said Hirono.