Payroll Tax Cut Comes Up Against House Opposition
Speaker of the House John Boehner made a surprise turnaround in opposition of the $33 billion measure he helped work out on Friday. The Senate approved the package in an 89-10 vote, giving supporters hope that a payroll tax holiday for millions of American workers would be extended. The legislation would also extend unemployment benefits and avoid cuts in payments to doctors who accept Medicare.
But according to Boehner, all of these steps would be "just kicking the can down the road."
“It’s time to just stop, do our work, resolve the differences, and extend this for one year,” Mr. Boehner said on ”Meet The Press” on NBC. “How can you have tax policy for two months?”
His remarks came less than 24 hours after a conference call in which he had urged his rank-and-file members to support the Senate bill, pointing to its provision that would speed construction of an oil pipeline, known as Keystone XL, from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
But many Republicans lawmakers were not buying what their leader was urging them to do, often because they object to the cost of the tax cut extension. The Senate bill would reduce the deficit by nearly $3 billion, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
The House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, said in a statement that on Monday, “the House will either amend the Senate bill so that it is responsible and in line with the needs of hard working taxpayers and middle class families, or pass a motion move to conference to accomplish the same. ”
Mr. Cantor said the House opposed the Senate bill “ because — to put it simply — we owe the middle class, employers and doctors better than a two-month extension.”
The Times went on to report Boehner and his party would support a year-long extension of the payroll cut, but that the measure would have to be financed with cuts to the existing budget.
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