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Losing Hope In Payroll Tax Extension For The Holidays

Losing Hope In Payroll Tax Extension For The Holidays

There’s no place like home for the holidays.  Unfortunately, Congress is about to go home for an extended break, and it’s looking more and more likely that they are going to leave the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits dangling like an unfilled Christmas stocking.

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner is stepping fully into his Grinch mode, now claiming that despite reports to the contrary, he had never made any sort of agreement to pass the senate version of the payroll tax bill, which would extend the reduced tax rate for another two months to give Congress time to negotiate a longer extension.  “That’s not true. What I was outlining was the fact that having the Keystone pipeline in there was a success. But I raised concerns with the two-month process from the start.”  He also said that he warned Republicans in Senate that their bill wasn’t likely to be approved in the House, and that he had told both Senate party leaders that he was not going to negotiate until the Senate had actually approved a bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the other hand, has rejected Boehner’s threats to vote down the bill, and his desire to conference for a compromise in order to pass a year-old extension, calling the House GOP pass the massively bipartisan Senate version. “My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians,” Reid warned.

For the House Republicans, reasons for rejecting the 2 month extension are simple.  They do not want an extension at all in the first place, which is why they made their own bill so unbelievably partisan that the President offered his intention to veto it before it ever even passed.  Should they manage to kill it all together now, they hope to weather the political fall out over the holidays and come back weeks later with many Americans no longer as angry, and the issue off the table.  A two month extension means another fight soon, a fight that is one of the key factors in pulling down Republican approval ratings, and this time as the House members are launching their reelection bids.

The House will vote on the bill later tonight, where it is expected it will be defeated.  Boehner will then advocate sending it to committee to negotiate between the two versions, a negotiation Reid has stated will never occur.  Friday, Congress adjourns.

It looks like it may be a less than happy New Year for many.

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Photo credit: revisorweb

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31 comments

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7:12AM PST on Dec 25, 2011

Thanks for posting.

8:51PM PST on Dec 21, 2011

The bill should have had a vote on its own. The tea party stuck the pipeline on because they knew it would not pass. The pipeline should be a stand alone bill, it has nothing to do with a middle class tax break. The temporary two month extension was passed by many Dems and R's but the no nothing tea party stopped it. We have to vote out those right wing nuts before they ruin our Country

11:34AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Yes John……they said NO because of all the riders the Rs tried to cram in the bill……including the XL pipeline.

6:32AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

.....and the show goes on. The house TP are extortionists and should all be arrested for their terrorists actions. When 92% of Congress voted for the 2 month extension after stalling for 3 months for the 1 year, the 60 day compromise rejected by the TP in the house. They should be all charged with placing the fragile lives of working Americans in dire peril.

6:31AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

.....and the show goes on. The house TP are extortionists and should all be arrested for their terrorists actions. When 92% of Congress voted for the 2 month extension after stalling for 3 months for the 1 year, the 60 day compromise rejected by the TP in the house. They should be all charged with placing the fragile lives of working Americans in dire peril.

9:51PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Elizabeth K. the republicans wanted a full year for the tax cut it was obama and the democrats that said hell no .

6:00PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Just google it 60 miniutes edited it out and also i'am madder than hell that there off on vacation the president and all politicians need to stay and hash this out . But here's the problem Obama doesn't know how to work with republicans and vise versa makes me sick.

2:32PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

As I thought some of you blame the GOP for everything when will this do nothing collage educated never had a job or ran or owned a business can't or won't or just don't know how to work with people Obama going to take some blame for the mess we are in oh thats right he considers himself the 4th best president which makes him blameless .

12:12PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Just watched John Boehner on T.V. asking for the President to do something. LOL. Sorry Johnny boy if you can't do your job you will pay the price along with those Republicans you can't lead. Your lack of leadership has been nothing but a ball and chain around our economy. Loser.

11:58AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

They keep harping on the middle class Americans that will see a tax increase, but they have already proven that they don't really give a crap about middle class Americans so does that mean that it also affects the richest Americans too? If so I'm all for it, I'll gladly give up a little money to see them hit hard. As far as the un-employed go, they are going to lose their benefits anyway, this way they just lose them sooner. As my daughter found out, sometimes that is the jolt you need to light a fire under your butt and stop waiting for something to be handed to you. There are jobs to be found, they may not be what you are used to, they may not be your first choice, they may not pay that well, but if you beat the bushes and hunt, they are there. My daughter went from working as a machinist at a factory to being a guard at the city jail. It's honest work.

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I do hope the veterans can benefit--they are so mistreated+often forgotten just like in Canada.

Lighten up, Cathleen ... NOTHING chosen purposefully, tongue-in-check, you know.

So nice to see the steers running free like that.

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