Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis issued the following statement after Representatives Bartlett and Harris voted in lockstep with House Republicans to raise taxes on 160 million Americans including 3.2 million Maryland families. None of the Republican presidential-hopefuls – including frontrunner Mitt Romney – have admonished the GOP for siding with radical elements of the Tea Party over the middle class.
3.2 million working Maryland families would face an average tax increase of $1,000 after House Republicans – including Representatives Bartlett and Harris – voted against a bipartisan compromise, which passed with the support of 39 Republican Senators. Thanks to hard-line Tea Party Republicans, 160 million middle class Americans will see their taxes go up, 2.2 million Americans will start the year without unemployment benefits and doctors around the country will be stuck with the bill for treating seniors on Medicare. For Republicans who are overeager to protect tax breaks for millionaires and big business, yesterday’s vote was irresponsible, callous and purely political.
Democrats are committed to preventing tax increases on the middle class. That’s why today Democratic Whip Hoyer and Representative Van Hollen tried to request a vote to extend the payroll tax cut. Republicans refused to allow them to speak, and walked out.
Republicans say they support the middle class but they continuously back policies that hurt working families and seniors, jeopardize Medicare and Social Security, and endanger our shared future. Marylanders are tired of the brinkmanship and political games. Representatives Bartlett and Harris and House Republicans must follow the Senate’s lead and prevent a painful tax hike on the middle class in just 10 days.