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160 million working Americans may be ringing in the New Year with a tax increase because of a decision by the House leadership to play politics. After some tough negotiations, the Senate reached a bipartisan compromise that extends the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits in the coming year. Yesterday's action by the U.S. House of Representatives, primarily by a faction of Republicans, to reject this sensible agreement virtually ensures that these benefits will not be in place by Jan 1, 2012.

See how your representative voted, and send him or her a letter about the importance of this issue.

Just about everyone - Democrats and Republicans - is committed to making sure that by early next year a way is found to extend both the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance (UI) through the end of 2012. The Senate bill passed with 89 votes (39 coming from Republicans), and right now, that bipartisan compromise is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike and extend UI assistance on Jan 1.

Write your representative and tell him or her that a tax hike on 160 million working Americans is unacceptable.

One House Republican called this "high stakes poker." But as President Obama said, "This is not poker. ... It's not a game to the average family that doesn't have an extra $1,000 to lose. It's not a game for the millions of Americans who will take a hit when the entire economy grows slower because these proposals aren't extended."

It's time for Speaker John Boehner and the faction of House Republicans to stop playing politics and get this done on behalf of the American people. Write them now.

December 21, 2011
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