With the deadline approaching, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., publicly broke with Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., and urged the Republican-controlled House to pass the two-month payroll extension.
Last weekend, McConnell brokered a bipartisan deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., to keep the tax relief for another two months. However, Boehner denounced the deal after rank-and-file House Republicans rebelled and later rejected the Senate-bill.
Since then, Senate Republicans and GOP pundits have been calling on the House to compromise.
McConnell says the House and Senate should negotiate a long-term deal, but that Boehner’s caucus should first pass the payroll tax set to expire December 31.
From the National Journal:
McConnell groped for political ground in his first public statement on the matter since Boehner denounced the bipartisan package the Senate GOP leader helped negotiate over the weekend. That two-month plan cleared the Senate 89-10 on Saturday.
McConnell said that not only should the House pass the two-month package, but that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., should appoint the conferees that Boehner has demanded to begin formal negotiations between the two chambers over how to lengthen the tax break for a full year.
“House Republicans sensibly want greater certainty about the duration of these provisions, while Senate Democrats want more time to negotiate the terms. These goals are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both,” McConnell said in the statement.