Press Releases

Today, U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) voted in favor of H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2011, which offsets the cost of extending payroll tax relief and unemployment benefit extensions.  In addition, the bill would immediately create jobs by streamlining the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas while rolling back four harmful EPA regulations collectively known as Boiler MACT. The House passed the measure 234-193, and H.R. 3630 now awaits consideration by the Senate before the end of the year.

“With unemployment levels parked above 8 percent and with some southern and eastern Kentucky counties nearly double that level, nothing is more important for Washington than getting our economy back on track and spurring job creation,” said Rogers. “By lengthening the payroll tax cut for another year, families will keep more of their hard-earned money while extending unemployment benefits will give our out-of-work neighbors more time to land a job.  Most importantly, my Republican colleagues and I are making the difficult decisions and paying for these programs.”

This legislation extends a number of programs that are expected to expire at the end of the year, including a fully paid-for extension of the payroll tax holiday for the next year and a reformed unemployment benefits program. In addition, this measure also prevents a 27 percent cut to doctors serving Medicare patients, and provides two years of stable Medicare physician pay to ensure that seniors are getting the best quality care.

H.R. 3630 also includes measures to directly support the creation of private sector jobs by blocking excessive federal regulations and expediting the Keystone XL energy pipeline. The EPA’s co-called Boiler MACT regulations could shut down many of our country’s 200,000 coal-fired utility boilers, and this bill reasonably provides industry with additional time to comply with these restrictive standards.  In addition, the bill requires the President to issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline within the next 60 days unless he determines that the pipeline would not serve the national interest.  Not only would this important project immediately create 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, but it assures the United States a secure and reliable source of affordable energy, which will be vital to economic recovery.

The cost of the bill is fully offset with commonsense spending cuts and other savings provisions, which would, in fact, result in a deficit reduction of $5.8 billion in the next ten years. Among these savings are provisions to: cut funds from Obamacare; increase Medicare premiums on higher-income beneficiaries and loan guarantee fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and extend the pay freeze for federal employees and require federal workers to contribute more towards their retirement.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents.  For more information visit