Earlier today the Senate defeated a Democrat payroll tax cut proposal with a vote of 50-48. 60 votes were required to pass it. A subsequent Republican proposal was also defeated 22-76.
President Obama said that he would delay his Christmas vacation to Hawaii until the measure is passed. He discounted the innclusion of a proposal by Republicans of the XL Keystone Pipeline floated by Republicans. Although the pipeline would create up to 20,000 “shovel ready” good paying union jobs, Obama contended that the tax cuts would create more jobs than the pipeline, which, he said, is part of a process withing the State Department. The fact, however, is that the pipeline was delayed for poltical reasons to push it beyond the 2012 election. Nebraska, which was at the heart of the issue, had reached an agreement with the TransCanada Pipeline to reroute the pipeline out of the contested area. The pipeline has had detailed environmental impact studies that concluded that the pipeline would pose minimum risks to the environment.
What is certain, is that both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of a payroll tax cut extension and the rest is political positioning. The President is in campaign mode and since he can’t run on his economic record, blaming Republicans for the demise of the economy is part of his strategy. This conflicts with the two years that the President had a majority both in the House and the Senate. The question for the President is what he did during the first two years as occupant of the Oval Office?
Appaently he took 69 vacation days, played Golf 88 times and made 67 campaign appearance (many on the tax payers dime).
The Senate blocked consideration Thursday of both Democratic and Republican plans to extend the payroll tax cut, as the partisan stalemate over the issue continues.
The Democratic measure, which would cut the 6.2 percent payroll tax in half next year, was blocked on a 50 to 48 vote; 60 votes were necessary for the bill to proceed. It would have imposed a new surtax on the wealthy.
The dueling Republican proposal would have ensured the payroll tax rate, set at 4.2 percent for the last year to give workers a boost in the tough economy, would not revert to 6.2 percent in January. Washington Post