Extension Payroll Tax Cut Passes Senate

December 19, 2011 by staff 

Extension Payroll Tax Cut Passes Senate, The fate of a payroll tax cut extension backed by the White House and overwhelmingly passed by the Senate is uncertain after a restive House Republican conference expressed displeasure with the two-month deal.

Faced with the uprising on his conservative right flank, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, retreated Sunday from his previous support for the package, saying the House does not expect to approve that plan in a vote tonight.

“Well, it’s pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill,” Boehner said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s only for two months. You know, the president said we shouldn’t go on vacation until we get our work done. And frankly, House Republicans agree.”

The move sets up the latest game of brinksmanship on Capitol Hill, in which a failure by lawmakers to pass a deal before New Year’s Day will result in a two percentage-point payroll tax increase on 160 million workers, the termination of unemployment benefits for some jobless Americans and a reduction in reimbursement rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients. Far-reaching repercussions for both political parties also loom.

House Republicans oppose the short-term nature of the deal, arguing that it would be bad tax policy to provide just a two-month extension as well as bad politics to keep the issue alive for President Barack Obama.

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