Custom Search

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

House Passes Payroll Cut Extension 234 to 193 Despite Veto Threat By Obama

By Susan Duclos

"This Congress needs to do its job and stop the tax hike that’s scheduled to affect 160 million Americans in 18 days"--- White House press secretary Jay Carney

Carney said this after the House of Representatives did pass the bill. (Roll call here on 234/193 House vote) 10 House Democrats voted for the bill and 14 Republicans voted against it.

The White House threatened to veto the bill prior to it being passed because the method the Republican controlled House used to pay for the the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits, two central elements of Obama's own job plan.

The Hill explains:

The administration’s veto threat referenced provisions that Republicans use to pay for the bill, including the repeal of funding for the 2010 healthcare law and measures that, the White House said, broke a spending agreement hatched this summer during the debt-limit deal. Obama has previously threatened to reject the GOP bill over the inclusion of a measure forcing the administration to expedite a decision on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

According to the New York Times piece on this, Democratic Senate majority leader, Harry Reid is declaring this bill "dead on arrival" in the Senate.

Reid, of course, predictably, wants to pay for the payroll cut extension, with... wait for it, three guesses and the first two don't count......... that's right!!!! TAXES!!!!

In the meantime, Reid and Obama have decided to play a game of chicken with Republicans by deliberately delaying action on the end of the year omnibus spending package until Congress comes to an agreement on the bill that includes the payroll tax cut extension, to which even some Democrats are finding frustrating. (Source- Roll Call)

The White House and Senate Democrats are delaying action on the omnibus spending package because they worry that approving it would remove the incentive for House Republicans to stay in town and reach a compromise on the payroll tax cut extension. But in the process, they've made themselves vulnerable to the attack they've been using all year against Republicans: that they're holding the government hostage until they get what they want.


A frustrated Rep. Mike Simpson — who as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment has slogged his way through dozens of riders to reach a bipartisan deal — said Democrats are playing shutdown politics.durb

"They're trying to get some leverage on the tax bill," the Idaho Republican said. "After six months of trying to blame Republicans for trying to shut down the government, they're the ones that won't sign the conference report that would keep the government open."

Even some Democrats were frustrated at the tactic.

"Our bill is done, and it should go to the president immediately," said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), ranking member on Simpson's subcommittee. "We're not holding it up. ... I can't speak for Harry Reid. I can't speak for him. As far as I'm concerned, it should be done."

From Speaker of the House, John Boehner's blog:

Last night, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation, with bipartisan support, to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for Americans struggling in President Obama's economy. In keeping with Republicans’ continued focus on job creation, the legislation includes sensible, bipartisan measures to help the private sector create jobs. Unfortunately, with the clock ticking, the Democrats who run Washington have no cohesive plan or unified strategy for passing their own priorities, instead resorting to holding government funding hostage – a tactic senior Democrats are openly criticizing . Even the linchpin of Democrats’ maneuvering – the president’s veto threat – is based on fictitious claims and lacks any mention of the Keystone energy project he explicitly said he would reject. As Speaker Boehner said last night after the House vote, it’s time for the Senate to act.

It also provides a virtual link fest of media stories and quotes on the passage of the bill, referencing both Republicans and Democrats.

The White House had created a "countdown clock" to pressure Congress to act on this bill, after the passage in the House, Republicans updated the White House's clock to reflect the fact that the ball is now in the Democratically controlled Senate's court.: