Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama

Statement from Congresswoman Sewell in Opposition to House Republicans' Attempt to Delay the Extension of Unemployment Benefits and Payroll Tax Cuts to Americans

Dec 20, 2011
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) released the following statement after voting against the House Republican’s attempt to delay passage of an extension of unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts:

“Today, I stood up for middle class Americans and voted against the House Republicans’ attempt to delay an extension of unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts.

The Senate amended and passed a bi-partisan bill that would have extended the payroll tax cuts for millions of workers and families, protected unemployment benefits for Americans who lost their job due to the economic recession and ensured that our seniors would have access to critical healthcare services. The agreement reflected a compromise that was negotiated in good faith by Senate Democrats and Republicans.  It was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate— 89 Senators, including 39 Republicans, voted in favor of it.  However, House Republicans refuse to bring this compromise to the floor for a vote. 

It is unacceptable that some of my Republican colleagues in the House have once again refused to compromise. Our constituents elected us to make their lives better, not worse.  This latest Republican grandstand will cost the American public dearly.  As a result, 160 million middle class Americans will see a payroll tax increase, over two million Americans and almost 25,000 Alabamians will begin losing their unemployment benefits and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians.

We all understand that extending these benefits is a temporary fix to a long term problem.  While I had hoped for a one-year extension agreement, the two-month compromise agreed to by the Senate is better than the alternative—letting millions of Americans suffer economic hardship on January 1, 2012. As members of Congress, it is absurd that we are being deprived of the opportunity to vote for a bill that would add certainty to our economy and extend these essential benefits for millions of Americans. 

I am deeply disappointed in Congress’s failure to put aside partisan politics.  We must not go home until all Americans can celebrate the holidays knowing their benefits are protected.”


Contact:  Allison Abney;   (202) 225-2665;