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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
On the payroll tax extension, Christmas celebrationsPosted Friday, December 23, 2011, at 11:35 AM
The House came back to D.C. this Christmas week to do the people's work and ensure hardworking taxpayers are not faced with a payroll tax increase at the beginning of 2012. We did this by moving a one-year extension forward and appointing conferees to hammer out differences between the House and Senate versions of the payroll tax fix bill. The House passed a reasonable, bipartisan bill that will provide a full year of tax certainty to the American people. Unfortunately, the Senate opted to kick the can down the road by passing only a 60-day extension. Working Americans deserve better.
The House appointed conferees and continued trying to find a solution. The Senate refused to appoint conferees and the deadline approached where hard-working Americans could be faced with a tax increase as the new year gets underway. To avoid this, the leaders of the House and Senate agreed to a compromise to extend the payroll tax fix for two months. During the interim, Senator Harry Reid has agreed to appoint conferees to begin the discussion of how to develop a one-year solution. I am disappointed with the Senate for failing to advance what is in the best interests of the American people, but am pleased the issue will be addressed seriously in the new year.
In the meantime, now that I've returned home, I can join with the good people of the 4th District I have the privilege to serve to appreciate this special time of year with our friends and family. It is a time to be thankful, to focus on what's really important, and a time to remember what God did for us on that starry night over 2,000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem.
Last Sunday, the children of our church presented a play telling that story. They were so precious in their gold-tinseled halos, sheep costumes, and shepherds robes. The pageant took me back to my childhood and the Christmas pageants our little church in Archie always held. Everyone got involved in those events -- children and adults. I was usually in the children's choir up front and my father was one of the three wise men. I remember him in his blue terry cloth bathrobe carrying my mother's Faberge perfume bottle as the 'gold' gift for the Christ child. The lights were out except a few candles in the windows and the lights up front. "Silent Night" never sounded as good as when it was sung in that holy setting.
Afterward, everyone enjoyed cookies and cocoa in the basement kitchen and every child was given a special sack of candy, peanuts, candy canes, and an orange. Mayhem abounded with kids running everywhere, some still draped in tinsel from the play.
We also liked to go caroling as a church. It was always a frosty night and my fingers and toes used to get cold and lose feeling, but it was fun to drive from one house of an elderly member of the community to another, get out, excitedly approach the house, knock, and wait for the surprised answer at the door followed by a hearty singing of a few carols before loading up again to go to the next house. This, too, was followed up by more cocoa and cookies in the church basement -- a must for any Christmas celebration.
I'm thankful for these memories and the opportunity to still make memories with my family today.
The news of that special birth so long ago is just as special as it was a few years ago:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -- Isaiah 9:6
May you enjoy this special time of year with your family, pause to remember the Reason for the Season, and enjoy some homemade cookies and cocoa.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Vicky Hartzler is the U.S. representative for Missouri's 4th Congressional District. She was raised on a farm in Archie, and lives with her husband, Lowell and daughter, Tiffany, on a working farm in Cass County. She is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983 and Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) in 1992, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education from MU and a M.S. in Education from Central Missouri. For more information, visit http://hartzler.house.gov.
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