It's Time for 'Plan A':
Congressman Jim Gerlach Implored to Call on Boehner to Schedule Vote on Senate-passed Middle Class Tax Relief Bill That Will Head Off Impending Tax Hike on 98% of Americans & 97% of Small Businesses
With time running out for Congress to avert an automatic tax hike on all Americans on January 1, Republican House Speaker John Boehner chose to waste precious time playing politics, putting forward a bill to protect tax breaks for millionaires at the expense of the middle class that was so fatally flawed that he could not even rally enough support from fellow House Republicans. As a result, late Thursday night, Republican Boehner reportedly pulled the so-called "Plan B" bill off the table. The bill stood no chance of passage in the Senate, as it would give millionaires an average $50,000 tax break, while raising taxes by an average of $1,000 on 25 million working families with children and students.
You Had Your Chance, Mr. Speaker, and Now It's Time for 'Plan A': The Action-Pennsylvania called on Congressman Jim Gerlach and his Pennsylvania GOP congressional colleagues to be strong independent voices for Pennsylvania families and demand that Speaker Boehner immediately hold a vote on a responsible alternative bill that already passed the U.S. Senate and that the President is ready to sign. This bill would immediately cut taxes for the middle class and extend the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest 2%, generating $400 billion more in revenue to help close our long-term budget gap and support critical investments that create and sustain jobs.
Mike Morrill of Keystone Progress, which is coordinating the efforts of The Action-Pennsylvania, said: "With a $2,200 tax hike set to hit middle class families on January 1st, all Speaker Boehner has accomplished this week is to waste time and further fan the flames of economic uncertainty. But one thing is absolutely certain: he and his party's insistence on protecting tax breaks for millionaires at all costs is hugely unpopular. The American people will hold the GOP responsible if taxes to go up on the middle class next year."
"It's time for Congressman Jim Gerlach to stand up and do what's right, for he'll certainly take the blame if he comes home to Pennsylvania while the economy drives off the fiscal cliff," Morrill continued. "Congressman Gerlach will need to answer to middle class families who will have $2,200 less to spend on groceries or on filling a prescription, to pay the rent or tuition. He also will need to answer to his constituents that lose their jobs due to less demand for goods and services."
Even Congressman Gerlach's Republican colleague Governor Tom Corbett recognizes the pain Congress will cause when he said "The potential impact of going over the 'fiscal cliff,' on every state, is enormous." [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 12/12/12]. Corbett's Administration reported that the failure to avert the fiscal cliff will cost Pennsylvania $300 million, slashing services for pregnant women and young children, schools, and home heating assistance for seniors and others struggling to keep warm through the winter.
"Time is running out," Morrill added, "but Congressman Gerlach and his GOP colleagues in Pennsylvania still have a chance to save their constituents from economic hardship and themselves from political fallout. They can forget 'Plan B' and simply pass 'Plan A,' a middle class tax relief bill that will extend tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses. If Congressman Gerlach and his colleagues demand that Speaker Boehner call them back to work to pass that bill immediately, they can deliver for the people they serve, before it's too late."
Keystone Progress is one of over 150 national, state and local organizations part of The Action - a grassroots movement calling for the end of the Bush-era tax breaks for the richest 2 percent that have shortchanged critical investments that create and sustain jobs.