Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a Democrat-sponsored bill (S 3412), by a vote of 51-48, extending the Bush-era tax cuts to the middle class. The Senate Republican version, which lost by a vote of 45-54, would have given tax breaks of approximately $160,000 per year to the average American millionaire and added $155 billion to the U.S. deficit.
This week the House of Representative has its turn. The House vote could take place as early as tomorrow. Will the House pass the Senate measure that preserves vital assistance for middle- and working-class Americans or will they hold the majority of us hostage by passing a bill to extend massive tax cuts to the mega wealthy?
I am running for Congress in N.J.’s new, competitive 11th District. If I were your Congressional representative, I can promise you that I would be voting in favor of the bill that the Senate passed last week. Why? Because I’m a Certified Public Account and a numbers man. When you look at the numbers it’s obvious that the Senate bill gives millions of Americans a fair shot at economic stability.
But I can’t vote next week because I’m not in Congress — at least not yet.
Instead, we must rely on my Republican opponent, Rodney Frelinghuysen, to do the right thing. I hear Rep. Frelinghuysen is a good man and I have not doubt that he is. On this issue, however, the proof will be in the voting.
If the House passes the Senate version, President Barack Obama has promised to sign the bill into law that will benefit 98% of Americans and nearly every small business.
If the House passes the Republican version, the bill will stall as the Senate and the House attempt to reconcile the differences between the bills — something easier said than done in the contentious atmosphere that pervades the halls of Congress these days.
So what’s it going to be Mr. Frelinghuysen? Are you going to vote in favor of extending tax cuts to the 98% of us who make up this great country or are you going to vote to preserve the interests of the mega wealthy?
I encourage each of you to ask Congressman Frelinghuysen to do the right thing. Tell Mr. Frelinghuysen to vote in favor of the Democratic-sponsored bill that passed the Senate last week and to vote against a Republican House bill that will extend those cuts to the wealthiest Americans.
The congressman’s office can be reached at (973) 984-0711.