House GOP Insists On Yearlong Tax-cut Plan
December 19, 2011 by staff
House GOP Insists On Yearlong Tax-cut Plan, House Speaker John A. Boehner escalated a year-end showdown over President Obama’s payroll tax cut by rejecting a Senate-passed compromise — jeopardizing the $1,000 average annual benefit for 160 million working Americans and risking the blame if taxes rise.
The Republican-controlled House was expected to vote down the Senate’s two-month extension of the tax break Monday in a largely symbolic demonstration that the stopgap deal is unacceptable. The tax break expires Dec. 31.
“How can you do tax policy for two months?” Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We should do this for the full year as the president asked for.”
The speaker’s dismissal of the deal reached by the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders presents another example of his willingness to cater to the GOP’s conservatives and tests his grip on the often-unwieldy Republican House majority.
House members are being called back to Washington as Republicans try to kick-start negotiations with Democrats by either amending the bill or launching formal talks on compromise. But they could end up shadowboxing. The Senate has left town and Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he would refuse to engage in further talks until the House approved the short-term extension that passed the Senate on Saturday by a bipartisan margin, 89 to 10.
“Neither side got everything they wanted, but we forged a middle ground,” Reid said in a statement Sunday. “If Speaker Boehner refuses to vote on the bipartisan compromise that passed the Senate with 89 votes, Republicans will be forcing a $1,000 tax increase on middle-class families on Jan. 1.”
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