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Camp Floor Statement: H.R. 8, Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012

August 01, 2012

(Remarks as Prepared)

I rise today in support of H.R. 8, the Jobs Protection and Recession Prevention Act.  In doing so, I, and my fellow Republican House colleagues, have made an important choice, the choice to focus on job creation.  

Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who oppose this important piece of legislation have made a different choice, the choice to focus on tax hikes that destroy jobs.

The Jobs Protection and Recession Prevention Act stops the tax hike we face at the end of the year and provides a one-year extension of the low-tax policies originally enacted in 2001 and 2003 and then extended again in 2010.  The 2010 bill was supported by 85 current House Democrats, 40 current Senate Democrats and President Obama.

Importantly, this legislation allows Congress time to pass and enact comprehensive tax reform without causing undue harm to our fragile economy.  Economists have noted that comprehensive tax reform, when paired with appropriate government spending cuts, could lead to the creation of 1 million American jobs in the first year alone.  The choice House Republicans have made is to pass this bill, work toward comprehensive tax reform, and create jobs.

In contrast, my Democrat colleagues have proposed raising taxes.  They claim the Democrat tax hike will only affect the “rich.”  What they don’t want to tell you is that in reality this tax hike will hit nearly one million small businesses and 53 percent of all small business income.  

A study conducted by Ernst & Young concluded that the Democrat tax hike could lead to the loss of over 700,000 jobs.  That is the choice that Democrats have made, to raise taxes on families and small businesses and destroy jobs.

America is at a crossroads – as this chart illustrates – and the question is which path will our country take?  The Democrats’ path includes tax hikes that will cause small businesses to lose 700,000 jobs.  Or, the Republicans’ tax reform path that will make the code simpler and fairer and lead to the creation of up to 1 million jobs in the first year alone.

What’s even worse is that in their quest to raise taxes on the so-called “wealthy,” several of my Democrat colleagues have made it clear that they are willing to hold middle- and low-income Americans hostage by threatening to let all income tax rates rise as scheduled at the end of the year if they don’t get their way.  These massive and imminent tax hikes are part of the fiscal cliff, or “jobs cliff” as I often refer to it, that we face at the end of this year.  

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that going over the fiscal cliff could cost America 2 to 3 million jobs.  This would be a devastating blow to the almost 13 million Americans who are unemployed, as well as to middle-class Americans struggling in the Obama economy.

The choice to me is obvious.  Let’s pass this bill and work toward comprehensive tax reform that creates a simpler, fairer tax code for all Americans and, most importantly, creates badly needed jobs.  

I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to reconsider their choice to increase taxes and destroy over 700,000 jobs.  Now is not the time to dig the hole we are in any deeper.  Instead, Democrats should take the advice of people like President Bill Clinton and former economic advisor to President Obama, Larry Summers, and join Republicans to stop the tax hike, work to strengthen our economy and get our country back on track.