WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the below statement on his vote today on the procedure for considering the tax relief extension measure. By voting against cloture, Brown urged more time for the legislation to be improved for middle class Americans, seniors, small businesses, and manufacturers.

“This represents our best shot at making significant improvements to the tax relief package,” Brown said of his vote to allow for more time before the legislation is debated. “I’ve filed amendments aimed at easing the financial burden on middle-class households, small businesses, seniors, and American manufacturers – and these issues deserve real debate.

“Republican Senators have held middle tax cuts and unemployment insurance hostage to extort bonus tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. The package is far too generous to the wealthiest two percent of Americans, particularly when you consider that Republican Senators blocked a cost-of-living increase for seniors on Social Security and thwarted efforts to spur economic growth in the Midwest through clean energy production. But it does provide critical relief to working Americans through the middle class tax cuts and the child care and earned income tax credits. As we continue to debate this legislation, we should keep our focus on unemployed workers and middle class Ohioans. People’s lives should not be used in a cynical political calculation. My top priority is ensuring that middle class households get tax relief and unemployed Ohioans can continue to pay their bills and provide for their families while they look for work.”

Earlier today, Brown introduced several amendments aimed at improving the legislation. These include a bipartisan amendment that would allow the administration to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation that undermines American manufacturing and an extension of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit.