At the end of December, Congress approved a two-month payroll tax cut extension which is set to expire at the end of February. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) says if allowed to expire, the median New Jersey family will see their taxes jump $1,141 due to the 10 months remaining in 2012 in which they would no longer see tax relief.

“At a time when New Jersey working families are struggling to buy gas, groceries and basic necessities, Congress is once again faced with the decision to extend payroll tax cuts for the middle class. This should be a no-brainer,” says Menendez. “Yet here we are again – up against the clock -- because some on the other side would rather put Tea Party politics ahead of tax cuts for 160 million ordinary Americans. Just as it was wrong in December, it’s wrong now.”

Menendez was a co-sponsor of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 which would have not only extended tax relief through 2012, but would have expanded the pay roll tax cut to 3.1%. This bill was blocked. The bipartisan compromise to extend the current tax cuts for two-months, which was supported by 90% of the Senate, passed late December, after House Republicans gave enough votes.