Pelosi rips GOP payroll tax offset plan

Dec. 1, 2011 at 4:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday criticized a Republican plan for offsetting a payroll tax cut, saying the GOP was out to "get" the middle class.

The California Democrat said President Obama's plan would create jobs while the GOP plan would be a job-killer, The Hill reported.

Pelosi used her weekly news conference to point out differences between Obama's plan to expand and extend the payroll tax holiday and offset it with a tax increase on millionaires and a Senate Republican plan that would extend the tax cut and pay for it by freezing federal pay, cutting the federal workforce and trimming specific federal benefits for the wealthy.

If no action is taken, the tax holiday expires Dec. 31.

Obama's plan "has more economic growth than what the Republicans are proposing," she said. The GOP plan "pays for the payroll tax cut by eliminating 200,000 jobs."

She said Republicans have resisted efforts until now to do something about the payroll tax cut, "but the constraints that they place on it have a dampening effect."

"I don't know what the middle class ever did to the Republicans that they're so out to get them," Pelosi said. "But whether it's job creation, economic growth, the tax code and the rest -- the deck is getting stacked against the middle class."

Since Republicans rejected the Democratic proposal to increase taxes for the wealthy, Pelosi said she was open to other ideas.

"While I point out the inconsistency of the Republicans saying tax cuts for the rich don't have to be offset but tax cuts for the middle class do, we would be interested in talking about a proposal that offsets that spending, that tax cut for the middle class," she said.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland also criticized the Republican plan.

"It is not appropriate to once again call on federal employees to contribute while not asking everyone else to contribute their fair share," Hoyer said in a statement Thursday. "It is also ironic that at a time when we need to grow jobs, Republicans are proposing to reduce them, taking our economy in the wrong direction."

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