Neither the approaching holidays nor data showing a bleak jobs picture seems to have mellowed House Republican leaders. The payroll tax-unemployment insurance-“doc fix” bill (H.R. 3630), introduced by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), which the House is expected to vote on today, has already drawn a veto threat from President Obama because of a provision on the Keystone oil pipeline. But there are many other reasons to be deeply concerned about this bill. It:
- Slashes federal emergency unemployment benefits for long-term jobless workers by more than half—and hits the states with the highest unemployment rates the hardest.
- Makes permanent, mean-spirited changes to the basic unemployment program, such as requiring claimants to have a high school diploma or GED and making unemployed workers pay for re-employment services offered by the government.
- Reduces health benefits by reducing financial protections for low- and moderate-income families purchasing health insurance, cutting funds to providers serving low-income populations, and slashing prevention and public health funds.
- Denies the refundable Child Tax Credit to low-income immigrant families by requiring a Social Security number to claim the credit.
- Cuts funding for non-security discretionary programs by over $26 billion—on top of the cuts already imposed by the Budget Control Act.
So, once again, the House is considering a bill that will cut many programs vital to women and their families, instead of requiring millionaires or corporations to start paying a fair share of taxes. If this outrageous bill passes the House, we’re counting on the Senate to just say no, even if it means “No Christmas for Congress” until they get it right.