Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, was one of seven House Republicans to vote yesterday with Democrats on the GOP proposal to force a payroll tax extension and unemployment benefits bill back to a House conference committee.
U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson issued the following statement today after voting against sending to conference committee the Senate version of the payroll tax extension. The Senate’s version of this legislation would have extended for two months the payroll tax cut, the current Medicare physician reimbursement rate, and unemployment benefits instead of one year as the original House-passed version did.
“There is agreement on the need to extend these provisions. I support these measures individually and there are reasonable ways to pay for it,” Rep. Johnson said. “To laden this measure down with political agendas and extraneous, irrelevant riders is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, this is part of business-as-usual inside the beltway politics and I refuse to be part of that misplaced strategy.
“Today’s vote requested the Senate form a conference to meet with a select group of Members hand-picked by the leadership. The motion to request a conference further centralizes the decision-making process in the United States Congress. Leadership from both sides of the House have further alienated the rank-and-file members and, by extension, the people they represent.
“Democrats and Republicans have whipsawed these issues back and forth to the detriment of American taxpayers. My vote reflected my objections to the process that resulted in delivering the American people a nonviable solution. We could have worked this problem out weeks, even months ago, if there had been the political will to do so. Instead, this appears to be an attempt to force through legislation that is too important to fail.”