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Congress’s Inactivity Could Cost North Texans Thousands

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Debbie Haskett is trying to beat the rush at the grocery store.  As she goes through her list at a Kroger in Arlington, she looks for the best deals.

Like so many others this year, she is watching her wallet.   “It won’t be as many Christmas presents under the tree,” says Haskett, who is visiting family for the holidays.

Suzanne Hanson can relate.  “I got to buy groceries,” says Hanson “Nothing changes that really.”

But now, the two women will be impacted if lawmakers don’t extend the payroll tax cut.

House Republicans voted to reject a two month tax cut to establish negotiations with a resistant senate.  The Senate passed the two month tax cut overwhelmingly over the weekend after failing to reach agreement on how to pay for a one year plan then they left town.

Workers could see their payroll taxes which fund social security jump back to 6.2% from 4.2%, which means that Uncle Sam would take an extra $1,000 from a worker who earns $50,000.

Experts say it will impact an already fragile economy, especially with food and gas prices already high.  “It will impact the economy.  Will it push us back into a recession? Probably not, but it will slow things down,” says financial analyst Jim LaCamp.

For North Texans trying to save at every corner it could mean an even leaner New Year.  “That’s disappointing for me,” says Hanson “They’ve got things I think they can back in other ways instead of on middle class people like myself,” says Hanson.

If Congress doesn’t act, unemployment benefits for newly jobless Americans will revert from 99 weeks to 26 weeks. Also, doctors who care for Medicare patients will see their reimbursements slashed.

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