Congressman Joe Pitts
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House Will Vote to Extend Payroll Tax and Unemployment Benefits Next Week
Next week, the House will vote on H.R. 1209, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, to extend a number of expiring items. This includes an extension of the current payroll tax reduction and extended unemployment benefits for states with a high unemployment rate. The bill pays for these important items by reducing government spending and reforming programs. Among these reforms are provisions prohibiting millionaires from receiving food stamps and other government assistance. Additionally, the bill contains a provision to move forward approval of the Keystone XL pipeline that could create 20,000 jobs directly and more than 100,000 jobs in related industries. For the full text of the bill, CLICK HERE.
Government May be Out More than $5 Billion on Battery Investments
This week, the Washington Post reported that few if any of the federal investments in battery companies will see a return for taxpayers. Money from the 2009 stimulus bill was invested in a number of relatively new companies looking to manufacture batteries, mostly for automobiles. Many of these companies have not shown the growth that was initially predicted. While A123 Systems claimed that 3,000 jobs would be created with the $380 million in government support, the company now only has 690 employees and went through a recent round of layoffs. Again, this is more evidence that the federal government is a poor venture capitalist and more proof that government stimulus does a poor job of creating jobs.
Chinese Dissident Released After U.S. Intervention
In October, I met with the wife of an imprisoned Chinese democracy activist, Ding Mao. Mao had been arrested earlier this year for forwarding internet messages calling for greater political freedom in his nation. I joined with other Members of Congress to call on the U.S. Embassy to ensure that Mao’s wife would not face reprisals for revealing his mistreatment. I was heartened to see that U.S. diplomats met her upon returning to China and invited her to a private meeting at the local U.S. consulate. Last Friday, Mao was released by the authorities and was able to return to his wife and 8-year old son. Many other political prisoners continue to be held and mistreated in China, but this was a small step in the right direction.
IRS Assistance for Individuals Dealing with Identity Theft
Identity theft is an increasingly common crime and it can be difficult to pick up the pieces after a serious security breach. The IRS has created a new process to help tax filers dealing with identity theft. Victims can now apply for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, or IP PIN. This allows victims of tax related identity theft to have their identities verified by IRS and avoid delays in processing their federal tax returns. For more information on working with the IRS after identity theft, CLICK HERE.
Op-ed of the Week: The Government vs. Medical Devices
This week, Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal entitled “China’s Superior Economic Model.” The byline of the editorial is “The free-market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the trash heap of history.” READ MORE

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New Health Care Taxes Destroy Jobs 
Rep. Pitts discusses a medical device company who recently announced layoffs as part of restructuring for new health care law taxes.
We Need a Balanced Budget Amendment 
Rep. Pitts offers his support the to Balanced Budget Amendment brought up in the House, H.J.Res. 2.
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