Congress should be doing all that it can to help create jobs, expand economic opportunity for middle-class families, and take on America’s challenges. Senate Democrats have succeeded in passing bill after bill that would cut taxes for the middle class and strengthen the economy. Rather than doing its part, the Republican House has gone on summer vacation, stranding Senate bills and leaving the American people in the lurch.
MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS: Senate Democrats Passed Legislation to Cut Taxes for 114 Million Middle Class Families. Senate Democrats led the passage of legislation to extend middle-class tax cuts for the 98% of Americans making less than $250,000, preventing a $1,600 tax hike on 114 million middle-class families. House Republicans are willing to add nearly $1 trillion to the deficit and hit 25 million families with a tax hike by ending credits for raising children and paying for college. [Vote 184, 7/25/12; National Economic Council, 7/12]
FARM BILL: Senate Democrats Passed Legislation to Strengthen the Rural Economy. In June, Senate Democrats passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, which would invest in successful jobs initiatives, help increase export opportunities, make it easier for farmers to sell locally and access capital, support innovation in bio-manufacturing and bio-energy, and support farmers and small businesses owners who have suffered disasters, while saving tens of billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse. American agriculture supports 16 million jobs. [Vote 164, 6/21/12; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, 6/12]
POSTAL REFORM: Senate Democrats Passed Legislation to Modernize the United States Postal Service. In April, Senate Democrats passed legislation to modernize the postal service and give it the flexibility to maintain critical functions while adapting to changes in the way people use the mail system. The United States Postal Service is the country’s second largest civilian employer and sustains over 8 million jobs. The House has been idle in the face of the Post Office’s first ever default – on $5.5 billion of future retiree health benefits. [Vote 82, 4/25/12;Envelope Manufacturers Association, 3/11; Reuters, 8/2/12]
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT : Senate Democrats Passed Legislation to Reduce the Incidence of Violence Against Women. In April, Senate Democrats passed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which enhanced emphasis on prevention and response to sexual assault and extended VAWA protections to all Americans. House Republicans have been unwilling to act on the Senate’s bipartisan, inclusive bill. In the time since the Senate passed its bill, there have been over 1.2 million incidents of violence against women. [Vote 87, 4/26/12; CQ, 4/26/12]
CHINA CURRENCY: Senate Democrats Passed Legislation to Crack Down on China’s Cheating and Level the Field for American Workers. In October of 2011, Senate Democrats passed the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, which improves currency oversight and includes tougher consequences for breaking the rules. Revaluing China’s currency could create over 1.6 million jobs. [Vote 159, 10/11/11; EPI, 6/17/11]