Upton Statement on Payroll Tax Relief Conference Agreement

February 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) this afternoon joined all of his colleagues in the House, and a majority of Senate conferees, to support of the agreement reached on temporary payroll tax relief, a patch to the broken Medicare physician payment system, extension and reform of unemployment benefits, and vital job creation measures achieved through spectrum reform. Upton is one of 20 bipartisan negotiators from the House and Senate who worked on the package. He issued the following statement:

"Like any compromise, this agreement gives no one everything they asked for but gives everyone something they can appreciate. From the beginning, we fought to ensure this package would be more than a temporary salve for families grappling with the weak economy. Our goal was to join these short-term policies with progress toward long-term economic growth and government reform. And we did.

"Economic growth is our top priority, which is why we stood firm against job-crushing tax increases. Equally important, we included real spending cuts and government reforms, including billions of dollars worth of savings squeezed from the health care law. And in a key victory for job creation, this package includes long-sought spectrum reforms that will spur billions of dollars in investment and support innovation in the communications and technology sector.

"The spectrum provisions in this package have long topped our pro-jobs agenda, and it's only fitting that this agreement paves the way for a real long-term boost for the economy. By freeing up airwaves to be used to build the next generation wireless networks, this package will support massive job creation and untold technological breakthroughs. After more than a decade, we are taking steps that will help to finally build the nationwide interoperable broadband public safety network. Along with the spectrum, we are providing resources to help ensure our first responders are equipped for the 21st century to communicate in the face of emergency. We fought for and won strong protections for taxpayers and a fair and open auction process that will allow the full range of participants to play a role in development of new networks and new technologies. This is a win for job creation, a win for innovation, a win for taxpayers, and a win for public safety.

"I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the chairman of this conference, Rep. Dave Camp, for their hard work on this agreement. While we had major differences that remain to this day, finding an agreement was the right thing to do, and the best path forward to resolve these issues in the short term and keep fighting for solutions in the long term that will promote job creation, reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and protect American families and communities."