After enjoying several weeks off, Congress heads back to work tomorrow in Washington, D.C. One shore area representative tells us, the payroll tax extension is at the top of his priority list.

3rd District Congressman Jon Runyan was the guest speaker at the January meeting of the Ocean County Mayors’ Association. Over eggs and bacon, Runyan addressed a packed house about the many different things on his agenda, world, state and local issues. One thing he says that’s very important to deal with right away is the payroll tax issue.

When speaking about the standoff last month, just before Christmas, Runyan says it had nothing to do with Congress’ inability to compromise. He says House members wanted the Senate to help craft a long term solution and not make a temporary fix. Runyan’s constituents are very concerned for when the extension expires.

Runyan says “people have to plan for this. It’s what we’re really trying to avoid, so, I understand their frustration, I see their frustration, I feel their frustration. We live it everyday and I see that type of stuff, but I think at the end of the day, you can count on us to get it done.”

Had the temporary extension not passed last month, 160 million working Americans would have faced an increase of their tax bill. It’s set to expire on February 29th, unless both sides can come up with a viable solution – either long term or another temporary one.