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House GOP Afraid of Up Or Down Payroll Tax Vote – UPDATED

House GOP Afraid of Up Or Down Payroll Tax Vote – UPDATED

A funny thing happened since yesterday, when Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner swore that the House would defeat the bipartisan Senate version of the two month payroll tax cut extension.  Once the evening rolled around and it was time to vote, the House decided to wait another day.

Maybe it was the news that some House Republicans actually wanted to vote for the extension that had Boehner second guessing himself.  After all, every member of the House is up for reelection in 2012, and most of them ran on a platform of never raising taxes on anyone, ever.  Forcing 160 million Americans to pay an additional $1000 a year sort of counters that pledge.  Or maybe Boehner, already embarrassed once for allegedly agreeing to push the House to support the Senate plan, then trying repeatedly to claim he did no such thing, didn’t want to once more show he doesn’t have the control over his caucus that he claims he does.

Either way, House Republicans have decided to reject the standard up and down vote on the bill that they were promising to have Monday night, and instead are doing a dual vote that will both defeat the Senate version and vote for sending the bill itself to committee to be retooled.  With such a vote, each GOP member then can choose to say that his or her vote wasn’t a vote to raise taxes on the middle and working class, but about trying to fight for a better deal on their behalf.  For a party that has made numerous comments about the Democrats’ desire to “kick the can down the road,” it sure looks like they are voting to….kick the can down the road.

But will their maneuver work?  Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have stated they will not send Democrats to committee to re-negotiate the bill.  Republicans hope to spin that refusal into a new meme showing that Democrats are the ones really killing the bill, but with the Democratically controlled Senate already passing it, that may be a tough sell.

Update: The House has voted 229-193 to send the bill to conference with the Senate.  Ezra Klein has a great explanation of why, regardless of what either side says, this impasse has absolutely nothing with extending the payroll tax cut.

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Photo from republicanconference via flickr creative commons

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79 comments

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5:37AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

What is it you do when you cannot make a decision, up or down? ... Procrastinate! Welcome to the Republican Party.

5:35AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

What is it you do when you cannot make a decision, up or down? ... 'Procrastinate'! Welcome to the Republican Party!

5:31AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

What is it these days with the Republicans and their seemingly exasperated party in general? Why are they so fragmented and wavering in all the seemingly wrong directions, focusing in on so many unimportant issues, and torn apart over what they may or may not have to physically lay out in personal income taxes in the coming years for loosing their still existing ‘Bush’ tax shelter. In deed to this day, from day one the Republicans have not offered a value added lending hand to the current incumbent President of the United States. Every proposal except theirs (The Republican’s) seems to be wrong, wrong and more wrong, yet they (The Republican’s) offer up nothing any better, up or down! … Let alone anything on time and or in a timely fashion. ‘Procrastination’ is the name of the Republican game, and everyone is sick of it!

4:54AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

No wonder Boehner looks as though he’s biting his lip in just about every photo taken of him. He's afraid the Republican plans, up or down, won't work. I don't blame him, for they just won't.

12:01PM PST on Dec 23, 2011

If you look at objectively, the House passage of the two-month extension of the cut was their SECOND such bill passed in recent weeks. The House had earlier passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would have extended the cutback for the entire year, but the Senate refused to even consider the House actions. Appare3ntly the Senate would rather play politics (and blame the House for inaction) than grant taxpayers more reliable relief.

What a bunch of hypocrites!

10:26AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

John is not an idiot. He just listens to Fox News all the timne or else he is a racist, or maybe both. Is he just a house republican or a senate republican? he can't be both since they don't agree on this bill. There is another otion; he is just a Tea-bagger, which means he just wants the president to fail. Once the Koch brothers get their majority in congress and maybe even the white house they will turn on the tools who are doing their dirty work for them. We will have a three class society; the poor, the wealthy, and the poor tools of the wealthy. This is the reason for the movement by the rich in this country to deny voting priviledges to many poor, eliminate unions, and starve the beast (the poor) to make them conform to the wishes of the rich - kind of like it was 2-3 centuries ago. The rich will have all the wealth and power, and will pay private military forces to maintain their control of the masses of our society. Look where we have gone for the past few decades; this is a trend, and is difficult to stop or change without superior forces to counter this war on the masses.

9:43AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

Bill Clinton did not have a radical right, just say no, stubborn tea party to deal with.

7:04AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

The year tax break is better than the 2 month and obama will eventually approve the pipeline . There's more union and non union support for it than there evirementalists who are against it.

6:38AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

This has nothing to do with Obama John. The Senate overwhelmingly agreed and voted on it.
They went home for Christmas. The reason the year long one didnt go through is because they Rs through in a bunch of riders at the last minute attempting to ad they pipeline in it with no debate. Boehner even said it was a good deal after the senate voted. It wasn't till the next day that he said no…..mainly because the tea party said NOOOOOOO.

8:42PM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Of course they don't want a vote, they know they would lose. Democracy be damned.

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