The Senate, in a rare bipartisan vote on Saturday, passed a two months extension to the payroll tax cut. The deal reached just one week before Christmas was welcomed by President Obama, although he was hoping for a one year extension. Senate Leaders had hoped that the bill would be taken up by the House of Representative on Monday. House Speaker John Boehner said on NBCs Meet the Press that he didn’t think that a quick fix solution could be reached and that he wanted full one year extension. Boehner suggested that the bill would not be taken up by the House.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Boehner suggested the House wouldn’t take up the two-month deal approved overwhelmingly by the Senate in a rare Saturday session. Instead, he proposed that a House-Senate conference resolve their differences over a bill passed by the House earlier this month to extend the measures for a full year.
“It’s pretty clear I and our members oppose the Senate bill,” Mr. Boehner said. “I believe two months is just kicking the can down the road.”
In a warning to both Senate Republicans and Democrats, he said that “it’s time for the Senate to work with the House to complete our business for the year. We’ve got two weeks to get it done, let’s do it the right way.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) responded with a statement calling on Mr. Boehner to bring the Senate-passed bill up for a vote, saying he can’t imagine why a vote wouldn’t be allowed unless the speaker was afraid it would actually pass.
“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 January 1st,” Mr. Reid said. WSJ
It would appear that the bill is going back to the drawing board. House Republicans intend to send an amended bill to the Senate or hash out the difference in conference. President Obama will just have to delay his Hawaiian vacation a little longer. After all “We can’t Wait.”
One has to agree with the Speaker, although a compromise may be hard to reach, that rehashing this issue when Congress returns in the new year in the middle of an election season would be more difficult. It is probably best to sort it out now. Surely with the millionaire’s tax off the table and the inclusion of the Keystone Pipeline the two sides can’t be that far apart. Extending the tax cuts for only two months would bring too much uncertainty to employers and they’re already dealing with enough red tape. I suggest a new motto for Congress “Get er done.”