The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has rejected a bipartisan Senate plan to extend a two percent payroll tax cut for an additional two months.
House GOP leaders then voted for an immediate conference with the Senate to negotiate a one-year extension, but the Democratic-controlled chamber has adjourned for the year. If lawmakers fail to extend the cuts then taxes will go up for 160 million workers on January 1.
U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-In., joined his GOP colleagues and voted against the Senate bill. He says Republican lawmakers listened to their constituents and the short-term extension was not good for small business owners.
“Those job creators out there that said a 60-day extension would really impact their payroll. It would increase their cost and it would increase uncertainty. The last thing we need to do right now is further increase uncertainty in our economic, which would adversely effect job creation,” he says.
In a pair of afternoon press conferences, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner sparred over the issues. The speaker has named GOP conferees and is urging Mr. Obama to call the Senate back to Washington, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., has said he won’t negotiate until the House approves the their short-term extension bill first.
Observers are already criticizing the latest congressional “tantrum” and believe it will result in the tax relief’s expiration.
The president blasted House Republicans in brief remarks Tuesday.
From USA Today:
“Right now, the bipartisan compromise that was reached (by the Senate) on Saturday is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on Jan. 1,” Obama said at the White House. “It’s the only one.”
“The clock is ticking,” Obama said. “Time is running out. And if the House Republicans refuse to vote for the Senate bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days.”
Some Senate Republicans joined Mr. Obama and have implored their colleagues in the lower chamber to accept the bipartisan deal brokered over the weekend. In an interview with MSNBC, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-In., said his GOP colleagues in the House should accept the deal, joining three others in calling for an end to the stalemate.
The political winds appear to be shifting blame to House Republicans, who ironically were elected on a wave of anti-tax fervor. But Young says a deal can still be reached, but that he and other rank-and-file House Republicans want the Senate to return to Washington and negotiate.
“Right now the Senate is out of session, they’re home on vacation. The House continues to work here and is prepared to come back and work Christmas Day if need be to ensure that our seniors, hard-working Americans and everyone else will have certainty during this down economy,” he says. “If you’re not here, you’re not part of the solution.”