The House of Representatives passed the Payroll Tax Cut Extension by a vote of 234 to 193, ignoring President Obama’s threat to veto the bill. Fourteen Republicans voted no, while ten Democrats voted yes.
Earlier Tuesday, President Obama threatened to veto the bill due to objections over how House Republicans chose to pay for the $180 billion legislation.
The Republican-sponsored legislation would extend the payroll tax cut for 160 million workers for another year. It would also extend long-term unemployment benefits — though with reforms that Democrats have protested — and prevent a cut in Medicare payments to doctors.
Despite a mutual consensus in favor of a payroll tax cut extension, Republicans and Democrats have sparred for weeks over the appropriate way to pay for the legislation.
The House Republicans’ bill does so by extending the current federal worker pay freeze one more year, requiring federal workers to contribute more to their pensions, and charging higher insurance rates for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. It would also prevent millionaires from collecting unemployment benefits or food stamps and increase Medicare Part B and D premiums for high income earners.
Democrats have proposed paying for the extension by raising taxes on Americans earning more than $1 million a year. Washington Post
The bill also includes the controversial XL Keystone Pipeline, which would transport crude from Hardesty, Alberta to Port Author, Texas. The inclusion of the pipeline is intended to create shovel ready jobs. Republicans contend that this about as shovel ready a project as it could be and if the President is serious about jobs he would welcome the bill. The pipeline is said to create 20,000 good paying union jobs and would infuse Billions of dollars into the economy. The bill requires the President to make a decision on the pipeline within 60 days. Obama delayed the decision beyond the 2012 election quoting further environmental impact studies.
The political fight is far from over though. Democrats want to pay for the bill by raising taxes on the rich. Republicans say that raising taxes on one segment of the population to pay for tax cuts of another is just plain wrong. The payroll tax extension takes about $120 billion out of the Social Security Trust fund annually.
Earlier today the State Department said that pushing the President for a decision may cause the project to be cancelled altogether.
President Obama has gone into full campaign mode since his speech in Osawatomie, Kansas.
On Tuesday last week, President Obama went to a small town in Kansas to lay out his basic campaign theme for the coming election: a commitment to “fairness.”
In Obama’s America, we all are dependent on the government, closely regulated, heavily taxed … and poor. He boldly proclaims that rugged individualism doesn’t work and neither do tax cuts.
Instead, government management of the economy, heavy subsidies and universal welfare is the key to economic health. The Citizen.com
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said after the bill was passed in the House of Representatives that it would be dead on arrival in the Senate. The White House again reiterated that the President would veto the bill.
160 Million Americans are affected by this bill.
Democrats voting YES:
Barrow GA, Boren OK, Boswell IA, Braley IA, Cardoza CA, Donnelly IN, Loebsack IA, Matheson UT, Ross AR and Walz MN
GOP Voting NO:
Amash MI, Barton TX, Brooks AL, Campbell CA, Flake AZ, Fortenberry NE, Garrett NJ, Johnson IL, Lummis WY, McClintock CA, McKinley WV, Neugebauer TX, Wolf VA and Woodall GA