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Published: Saturday, 12/24/2011

3 legislators from area call for longer deal

Kaptur, Latta, Dingell urge cooperation in '12

BLADE STAFF

Three area representatives said they hoped the payroll tax agreement signed Friday would be followed by renewed cooperation in 2012.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) said ensuring families' continued receipt of unemployment benefits was her priority.

"The best thing is that over Christmas, those families have temporary relief. It gives them eight more weeks," said Miss Kaptur said. "For those families that get a tax holiday for two more months, they know at least now they can guarantee those two months."

Miss Kaptur said the negotiations' "stop-and-start" nature created uncertainty for businesses that need to plan their tax liability for 2012 and for medical providers who need to know Medicare reimbursement rates.

"Maybe over the holidays, some of those involved in this brinksmanship will come to their senses and put America on a smooth glide path for 2012, at least the part that the government can do something about," Miss Kaptur said.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) issued a statement noting that the Democratic-controlled Senate had agreed to appoint a conference committee to try to merge the Senate and House measures that would create a 12-month solution.

Mr. Latta had joined other Republicans in the House opposing the two-month extension unless Senate Democrats agreed to merge the two bills in a conference committee.

"The livelihood of hard-working Americans can't continue to depend on two-month deals, and that is why I will keep working to ensure a long-term package solution occurs in January. The Senate and House need to achieve a year-long deal that provides hardworking taxpayers, seniors, and doctors with the certainty they need to plan in this tough economy," Mr. Latta said.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Dearborn), whose district includes Monroe County, praised the bipartisan payroll tax extension.

"I truly hope this is a lesson for my colleagues that working together on solutions for the American people is more valuable than playing politics. The American people deserve better not only this holiday season, but from their elected representatives year-round," Mr. Dingell said.

He issued a New Year's wish for members of Congress "actually working together to restore prosperity, provide jobs for the American people, and address the problems related to the huge budget deficit and tremendous national debt."

--Tom Troy



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