House Republicans have unveiled a bill that will renew the Social Security payroll tax cut and extend but trim unemployment benefits. This barreled toward a showdown with President Barack Obama since it included language jumpstarting work on a controversial oil pipeline.
Democrats are claiming that the measure is stingy toward the jobless and those individuals who have a lower income. Next week, the House vote will open a year-end battle that allows each party to spotlight its economic priorities ahead of November’s presidential and congressional elections.
The two parties agree generally on the pillars of the bill: preventing the January 1st expiration of the payroll tax cuts of extra coverage for the long-term unemployed, and avoiding a mandated cut in payments the government send doctors for treating Medicare patients.
The GOP tax cut and unemployment benefits aren’t as generous as the democrats wish they were and the Republicans are ignoring the White House’s preference to finance the bill by boosting taxes on millionaires.
Some GOP proposals are similar to past proposals by Obama such as: charging some seniors more for Medicare, freezing civil servants’ pay and raising some federal fees, etc.
The GOP plan staves off a threatened Medicare cut that would slash fees paid to doctors by 27 percent, which no one wants since it would destabilize health care for 47 million seniors and disabled people. The price would be paid by those seniors who are higher-earning, who would pay higher monthly premiums for Medicare outpatient services and prescriptions starting in 2017.