Ill. politicians talk payroll tax cut extension

December 21, 2011 (CHICAGO)

"I was sent to Washington DC eleven months ago to stop doing politics like this, this patchwork politics. It's time to start doing business for the long term," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R) Manteno, said.

Eleventh District Congressman Adam Kinzinger arrived at O'Hare late Wednesday morning with a what he calls a clear conscience. Two weeks ago, he voted for the House bill extending the payroll tax cut for another year and says it's now up to a House/Senate conference committee to work out differences between bills passed by each chamber.

"You have two different bills passed, you go to conference you figure out the differences and you pass it. I learned that in grade school," Kinzinger said.

"I think it's naive to believe that we are going to reach an agreement for a full year overnight or in a matter of hours," Senator Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois, said.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants House members to return to Washington to approve a Senate-passed bill to extend last year's payroll tax cut until the end of February, giving the conferees more time to reach a compromise.

"All the House of Representatives needs to do is give it the nod and we'll be covered for 60 days. There'll be no gap in terms of payroll tax cut, no gap in terms of unemployment benefits," Senator Durbin said.

But Durbin's Illinois Republican counterpart Mark Kirk says the immediate focus should be on the one-year extension.

"There is no need for the Senate to be on Holiday. We have work to do and we should do that work," Senator Kirk said.

During Wednesday's sparsely attended House session, Democrats resorted to theatrics in an attempt to dramatize the chamber's inaction on the extension.

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, we'd like to ask for unanimous consent that we bring up a bill to extend the tax cut for 160 million Americans as you walk off the floor, Mr. Speaker..."

If there is no action in the House and the Senate does not appoint conferees, on January 1, the amount withheld from virtually every American paycheck will increase two percentage points, or an estimated $1,000 dollars on a $50,000 a year salary.

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