House Rejects Senate’s Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Bill

With no great surprise, the House of Representatives has formally rejected the Senate bill that would extend the Payroll Tax cut for two months:

With a tax hike looming for 160 million Americans on New Year’s Day, House Republicans rejected a Senate plan to extend the payroll tax holiday for two months and instead called for a conference committee to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate.

The 229-193 partisan vote capped a wild few days of legislating and sends a message that Congress has chosen partisan stalemate over finding a quick solution before taxes go up and unemployment benefits go away for millions.

House Republicans, who were taken aback by the overwhelmingly bipartisan 89-10 Senate vote on the two-month extension, are trying to force the Senate to convene an old fashioned conference committee and somehow forge agreement on a full one-year extension of the payroll tax cut. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will not re-start negotiations until the House passes a two-month extension.

So now Congress stands where it has at several other critical moments this year when the government was in crisis — stuck in absolute gridlock while the American people turn on them with record disapproval ratings. At this point, one side will have to cave in, or both sides will have to start spinning who’s responsible for a tax increase that could take $1,500 a year out of the average American family’s paycheck.

The Senate is not in session, and the House may close up shop “subject to the call of the chair” — meaning they could quickly call the chamber back into session if there’s a deal.

Later today, the House will vote on the GOP plan in a procedural manner that will set up the process to appoint members to a Conference Committee with the Senate. However, Harry Reid has already said the Senate will not be reconvening and Nancy Pelosi said she would not name any Democratic members to the House membership of the proposed committee, which seems a rather dumb move actually. Then, we wait and see who blinks next. And, yes, as always happens in these down-to-the-brink showdowns, someone will blink.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, Social Security, Taxes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    And, yes, as always happens in these down-to-the-brink showdowns, someone will blink.

    And rest assured it will be the Dems. The question is – how much will they give away to keep the Republicans from calling them nasty names for 15 seconds…

  2. mantis says:

    Headline: House GOP Raises Taxes on Middle Class

  3. ponce says:

    What is it that the crazy House Republicans are trying to get out of this?

  4. mantis says:

    What is it that the crazy House Republicans are trying to get out of this?

    Nothing. They do this stuff for spite. That’s what the Tea Party is all about.

  5. James Joyner says:

    @ponce: They’re trying to get the same thing President Obama is: a one year extension rather than a series of repeated votes. That’s what the House agreed to but, for some reason, the Senate did not. And Reid decided that getting out of town early for the holidays was more important than hammering out the differences in conference.

  6. ponce says:

    They’re trying to get the same thing President Obama is: a one year extension rather than a series of repeated votes.

    James,

    That doesn’t even pass the smell test.

    A two month deal in no way blocks a longer deal being struck later.

  7. mantis says:

    That’s what the House agreed to

    When did they agree to that? They voted on an extension laden with poison pills. McConnell worked with Boehner on an agreement and the Senate passed it. Now the House has reneged.

    for some reason, the Senate did not.

    For some reason? Because the House won’t pass funding bills without poison, that’s why.

    And Reid decided that getting out of town early for the holidays was more important than hammering out the differences in conference.

    No, Reid passed what the Republican leadership agreed to, expecting the House to keep their word. Boehner apparently has no control over his caucus, so they did not keep their word. Now they want another chance to insert more poison into the bill.

  8. @mantis:

    Where is the evidence that the House GOP had ever agreed to the Senate deal?

  9. ponce says:

    Where is the evidence that the House GOP had ever agreed to the Senate deal?

    So the Republicans have split into two political parties now?

    Dumb and Dumber.

  10. mantis says:

    Where is the evidence that the House GOP had ever agreed to the Senate deal?

    The Senate Republican leadership thought they did.

  11. So the Senate Republicans assumed?

    We know what happens when you do that.

  12. mantis says:

    So the Senate Republicans assumed?

    No, by all accounts Boehner and McConnell worked out an deal. Boehner makes promises he can’t keep.

    Can you stop pretending to know nothing about how party leadership in the two chambers interact?

  13. David M says:

    First, there’s no time to actually have a conference at this point, so that idea is a non-starter. Second, there’s no reason to think McConnell wasn’t communicating with Boehner and didn’t have an understanding that the GOP and Boehner are now reneging on. None. We’ve seen how little control Boehner has had in the past and we know he was initially supportive of the Senate bill.

    The reality is that Boehner negotiated a deal with the Senate and failed to uphold his part of the agreement.

  14. mantis says:

    Oh, and in all likelihood, the bill probably would have passed the House, needing only a couple dozen Republican votes to go along with all the Democrats. The “screw the public always” Tea Partiers in the House surely went nuts, and convinced Boehner not to hold the vote at all, because it probably would have passed.

    And several Republican senators have publicly called out the House Republicans for not passing the bill.

  15. David says:

    Either McConnel cut a deal with Reid without clueing in the Speaker, or the Speaker agreed to something that he couldn’t get through his chamber. I tend to agree it would have passed on an up or down vote, but he wasnt willing to take the heat from Cantor and friends.

  16. Buffalo Rude says:

    @David M: But don’t you see? Boehner getting shanked by his own caucus is evidence of Democratic weakness.

  17. Buffalo Rude says:

    Thankfully, the House managed to vote on the commissioning of a bust of Winston Churchill. No dog-whistle there.

  18. Cherisplace says:

    @legion: Maybe you haven’t noticed but the Democrats are giving every evidence of having manned-up. Looks to me like they have drawn a hard line in the sand and said ‘NO MORE’. And the people who are watching are believing it. I think Obama is putting his life on the line…literally…to fight for the country. You can bet they’d want him dead even if he was white but those bigots have passed pictures of him with a bullet in his head and tweeted threats all as part of a political strategy????? Where is the Secret Service???? I think we’re seeing something historical happen in this country…something we haven’t seen since the 60s-70s. The people woke up and if the GOP were smart they would be terrified that they have woken the sleeping dragon much as Japan was after Pearl Harbor. We have always been able to make change when the people are paying attention and they have cut their own throats with their greed and spite.

  19. mantis says:

    So the Senate Republicans assumed?

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left a meeting with House leaders on Friday believing that Boehner and his top deputy, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), would find the votes to approve a two-month extension of the tax holiday. Both Boehner and Cantor have since disavowed giving McConnell the go-ahead to make the deal, and McConnell has issued a statement supporting Boehner’s position.

    Regardless of what exactly was said, McConnell, a 27-year member of the Senate, has a reputation as a master negotiator, known for playing hardball and then cutting the best deal possible; he has no history of communication errors.

    You do the math. It’s obvious the Republicans either can’t communicate with each other, or can’t stick to their agreements to each other. As the WSJ said, they are a circular firing squad. Too bad the middle class is caught in the crossfire.