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Payroll tax holiday extension stalls in Congress

NEA urges Congress to give the gift of peace of mind to American workers

WASHINGTON - December 15, 2011 -

The unemployment and payroll tax holiday extension continues to flounder in the Senate as the clock ticks down on the legislative session. Without an extension, 160 million Americans will face a tax hike in 2012 and millions of the long-term unemployed will lose jobless benefits.

“It would be unconscionable for Congress to go home for the holidays without ensuring the continuation of employment benefits and passing a crucial payroll tax extension,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.  “If the Republican leadership continues to play political games, nearly 160 million Americans will be slammed with a tax hike next year when they can least afford it while the richest in our country have another prosperous year.”

Democrats have called for a tax increase on income over $1 million to pay for the House bill, but Republicans have repeatedly opposed raising revenue by increasing taxes for the rich.

“America’s working families elected a Congress that is supposed to represent everyone, not just the one percent,” continued Van Roekel.  “Congress has an opportunity to do something to help the majority of Americans before adjourning for the year by extending unemployment and giving working families some peace of mind.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,