Illinois’ two U.S. senators are at odds over an extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut for the middle class. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is calling on Republicans to support an extension and expansion of payroll tax cuts for the working class. He says in these hard economic times, every penny counts for working families.
Click here for summary
Durbin wants the current 2 percent cut raised to 3.1 percent. He says that would save the average family in Illinois more than $1,600 a year, money that would find its way back into the economy through consumer spending on everyday goods and services. The Obama administration says they would fund the extension and expansion with a 3.25 percent surtax on the wealthy. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says the tax cut takes away from Social Security, which is already running a deficit. Republicans have proposed numerous ways to pay for the plan without touching Social Security, including a pay freeze for federal workers, reductions in the federal workforce and a means test for federal benefits such as food stamps. Durbin says Congress must come up with a compromise by the end of the year or families and the economy will suffer. On Thursday, the measure failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to be brought to the floor. Durbin voted yes; Kirk voted no.