2:30 PM EST
Richard Neal, D-MA 2nd

Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts. Madam Speaker, before I come to my friend's comments, I want to yield myself such time as I might consume.

Madam Speaker, I spoke with Chairman Rangel earlier, and it is our intention, as we did this month in passing the Tax Extenders Act of 2009, to make sure that those provisions hold. That bill contains a 1-year extension of dozens of important expiring provisions, including the popular R&D credit, the sales tax deduction and the college tuition deduction, among many others.

We are now hearing the Senate may not take up this provision, or provisions, and pass the bill before they expire on December 31. It is our intention to insist upon the House position and to work to ensure that our bill providing a seamless extension of these tax benefits will be enacted as soon as possible in the new year.

These provisions are crucial for both American business and individual taxpayers, and I am pleased that we were able to get the House to pass this bill before the year concluded, but it is disappointing that the other body will not be able to take it up this year. It is our goal, however, to ensure that this bill will provide a seamless extension when enacted based upon the House measure.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank Mr. Pence because I thought that the tone of what he offered was entirely reasonable because he didn't pass out partisan blame in the instance that brings us here at this time. But a gentle reminder, I don't know how you could have voted for the war in Iraq and not vote now to pay the bill, because that's part of what we are being asked to do today. I understand how difficult this is, why it causes heartburn. But having said that, how can you say that you

were willing to commit 160,000 soldiers to Iraq, and when the bill comes due, not pay it? That essentially is the argument that is in front of us today.

And I understand the arguments about those American families who are having a difficult time as we proceed to this holiday season, and we want to be as helpful to them as we can. And as they gather around the kitchen table to talk about the problems they have, we understand that we want to provide as much support for them as we can. But let's not forget the Social Security recipients who are currently sitting around the table as they watch this debate, wondering if their checks are going to be

mailed to them on time at the first of the year.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.