Nearly a month ago, the House passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act to help create or save more than a million American jobs, ensure seniors can keep their own doctors (SGR) and extend a proven economy booster, unemployment relief for families. The House Democratic Leadership has been calling on the Senate Republicans to stop obstructing and to allow an up or down vote on the legislation for weeks. Vote after vote, Senate Republicans have refused. In fact, the Democratic-led House has repeatedly sent the Senate job-creating legislation since December–and Senate Republicans continue to block legislation to create American jobs.
However, the Democratic-led House will not allow seniors and TRICARE families to suffer because of Senate Republican refusal to pass jobs legislation. Tonight, the House passed legislation (H.R. 3962) to retroactively reverse the 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors (SGR) and boost physician payments by 2.2% through November 30th. Chairman Sandy Levin (D-MI) explains the legislative history of the SGR fix:
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) addresses some of the false claims Republicans made during floor debate of the bill:
Speaker Pelosi on passage:
Congress has repeatedly voted to create jobs, strengthen small businesses, and invest in our middle class, and to ensure that our seniors and military families receive the care they deserve from their doctors. But at every turn, Senate Republicans have said no to jobs and have sided with Wall Street over Main Street.
Just today, Senate Republicans voted against a proposal to close tax loopholes that send American jobs overseas, help small businesses grow and provide assistance to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. It is clear that Senate Republicans have no intention of passing any jobs legislation, whether it is tied to physician payments or not.
Democrats will continue to protect the bedrock promise that is Medicare and we will keep demanding from Senate Republicans: show us the jobs.
The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.