House Republicans Balk on Passing Payroll Tax and Unemployment Extensions

So, it looks like that deal was short lived.† Despite attempts to tie the payroll tax holiday extension and an extension of unemployment benefits to the year end spending bill, House Republicans have now changed their mind about the extensions now that the budget bill has passed.

And everyone pretends to be shocked.

The House GOP has determined that they are unhappy with the bill negotiated in senate that would allow a two month extension of the payroll tax and unemployment insurance, even though they will be getting a faster consideration of the Keystone Pipeline, a favorite pet project of the party.† They are now asking for a chance to renegotiate the senate bill and reconcile a new version, despite the fact that the Senators have already left town for the holidays and the original passed the senate 89 to 10.

Although both Republicans and Democrats don’t seem entirely happy with the idea of a two month extension, the parties are against it for utterly different reasons.† The Democrats, because they feel that two months is just a stopgap measure and that they will just have to fight for it again as soon as they return from break, and the Republicans because they don’t want any extension in the first place, saying the assistance it would provide average Americans isn’t worth the possibility of the country racking up more debt.

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has made it clear that there will be no passage of the senate bill as is. “Itís pretty clear that I and our Members oppose the Senate bill. How can you do tax policy for two months? We believe itís time for the Senate to work with the House to complete our business for the year.Ē† Boehner proposes that the senate should instead pass the House’s version of the bill, which would extend the payroll tax extension and unemployment benefits for a full year — a bill filled with with so many Republican poison pills it was written guaranteed to never become law.

The posturing makes it clear that the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was given the go ahead to allow Republicans to vote for the Senate version, knowing that the House would then try to kill the bill all together by demanding a compromise between the House and Senate version.† That would provide the GOP with one last chance to say that it is Democrats refusing to compromise that makes the extension fail, despite the fact that Democrats compromised heavily just to get the Senate version passed.

Once more, the GOP proves that they want tax breaks, but only for the wealthy.† If there is no agreement in the next two weeks, 160 million Americans will see what will amount to about a $1000 tax increase per year.



Photo from republicanconference via flickr creative commons


Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

You have to be pretty damn stupid not to see the Republican agenda. Be smart and vote them out in 2012.

Frances C.
Frances C6 years ago

Almost everyone has agreed to pass the tax cuts for the middle class (at last) but now at the end the tea party has thwarted the agreement. They are determined to do nothing for working people. John Boehner cannot get them to work with others. We should send them at the next election back to their preschool class to continue the learning process.

Lee Witton
6 years ago

Eisenhower believed the wealthiest in this country should pay their fair share in taxes at 91% taxation. Today, the wealthiest pay around 16-17% in taxes, and the typical middle class worker pays 35%. Where is the equality in this? Warren Buffet stated earlier this year that he paid a lower rate in taxes than did his secretary and he has repeatedly asked that he along with the wealthiest in this country pay far more in taxes than they are now.

The really sad thing is that you will see Progressives at the top income bracket asked to be taxed at a higher rate while the regressives are screaming all the way to the bank; "don't touch my money". Something is seriously wrong in this country and while America is hurting economically, the middle class are disappearing.

Toby Seiler
Past Member 6 years ago

Sylvia, I've followed it about half and must have missed something. Is the only part of the Bush tax cuts that is at issue the payroll tax cut and everything else runs out (I know unemployment extension does too).

My point is that the Bush tax cuts were a lot more than payroll taxes and they not only affected the middle, but had significant impact on the wealthy? Are they letting the whole package expire and only seeking to renew payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits?

What happened to the capital gains cuts and credits that were part of the "Bush tax cuts"... are they expiring and not being renewed? Why do we seem to be getting only half of the story--- the part that scares mommies and daddies that they won't have $1k next year?

Something is missing if the Bush tax cuts really did benefit the wealthy (and I have no doubts they did).

Robby C.
Past Member 6 years ago

"When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before"
--HL Mencken

"You show your shortsightedness as you attempt to blame the Democrats for the Republican game playing."
--BFS! I blame BOTH sides!!!

Sandra B-
"Robby c you are a fool just reading your comments the ones who screwed us over was the GOP and their polices of the past 30yrs."
--Great writing- I can almost understand how you're trying to insult me... Funny, I thought $hit hit the fan in '07, but thankfully BO & his democratic congress was here to save us in '08. How's that worked out so far...?

"You must think that all of this economic disaster all happened since President Obama took office!"
--No, I just see how much worse it's gotten. And THAT'S w/2 of his current 3yrs having a demonrat congress. It's ok, I know reps have done their share of damage, but I'm just tired of the Care 2 pitty party! The finger pointing blame game BS that simply keeps us SHEEPLE in the dark! Let's grow up, be adults, & fix it! Clean house, drop party lines, & vote Ron Paul in 2012!

"As for the GOP/TP you should be asking why they hate the working men and women of this country and why they are always standing up for the 1%!"
--As for the liberals, I'd like to know why they think people should be forced to pay union dues to have a job? And why Boeing c

Robby C.
Past Member 6 years ago

To the moronic comments directed at me: Sharon H's quote might help:

"After watching years of this sort of bickering, I've come to the conclusion that it is all grandstanding for the benefit of the American People. Our so-called elected officials, both pubs and dems, know what is going to be passed. The main reasons for the grandstanding are:

#1. To throw the focus onto a more minor issue, so they can get through Congress something else that is much more damaging to us than the bill that is creating all the hoopla, without us noticing.

#2. To encourage us to continue to believe that there is still someone in Congress who actually wants to work for the People."

--Well said!!!

Lee W- "Robby, you are a prime example..."blah blah blah". I'd be willing to bet you are a middle class, worker bee"
--Nope- unemployed. PARTLY due to Bo-care-less...

"The GOP has been unwilling to do any 'real' negotiating and whenever the Democrats think they've reached a deal...Republicans pull the plug."
--Half the country sees this the other way around...

"Where are the tax increases for the top 2% of this country? Lowest tax rates gifted to the wealthiest to date and it won't be long before they're paying no taxes if the GOP isn't voted out of the House majority."
--Funny, the rates I see currently show 35% for highest income & 10% for lowest. Personally, I have no prob w/people making >$1mil/yr paying a bit more, TEMPORARILY. But we need ACCOUNTABILITY!

"When a

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M6 years ago

Toby S. Perhaps you are wondering what would happen to the wealthiest and have not been following all the political wrangling. The Republicans, with a majority in the house, have declared raising any fraction of any percentage of a point on the wealthiest to be off limits-so their vast oceans of wealth cannot be tapped at all. Democrats had proposed mild incremental increases AFTER the first million (meaning they just pay the same on the first million and only after that is there any increase) I believe the idea was to take it back to Clinton era levels, when wealth still grew and there were jobs galore. Essentially what is happening is a man imposed drought in the United States.

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

GOP stabs again.

Toby Seiler
Past Member 6 years ago

Can anyone tell me what the impact is on the wealthy when the extention of these Bush tax cuts are not passed? I keep hearing $1000 (for average American), but what about the other items that favor the rich (credits, capital gains)?

What am I missing, because the discussion never states what the top 1% or 10% will have to pay? If the Bush tax cuts benefited the wealthy most, not having them would seem to hit the wealthy hardest. Why is this discussion only about what the average American has to loose, while not stating what the wealthy have to loose?

Looks fishy to me.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

So what's new?