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Ear to the Ground

House Nixes Tax-Break Bill

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Posted on Dec 20, 2011
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. House of Representatives

No dice: House Speaker John Boehner did his part to push back on the tax-break bill Tuesday.

Once again, folks, we have deadlock on Capitol Hill. Happy holidays! Although President Obama and the majority of the U.S. Senate hoped that the House of Representatives would cooperate and pass legislation that would extend unemployment benefits and a payroll tax break, that didn’t happen Tuesday. This apparently displeased the president, who made his opinion clear in person later that day.  —KA

AP via Google News:

“Now let’s be clear,” Obama said in a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room. “The bipartisan compromise that was reached on Saturday is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1st. The only one.”

Obama said failure to pass the Senate version of the payroll tax cut extension could endanger the U.S. economic recovery, which he described as “fragile but moving in the right direction.”

House Republicans controlling the chamber want instead immediate negotiations with the Senate on a year-long plan. But the Senate’s top Democrat on Tuesday again ruled out talks until the House passes the stopgap measure.

“President Obama needs to call on Senate Democrats to go back into session ... and resolve this bill as soon as possible,” said House Speaker Boehner, R-Ohio. “I need the president to help out.”

If Congress doesn’t break the stalemate and pass a bill by the end of the year, payroll taxes will go up by almost $20 a week for a worker making a $50,000 salary. Almost 2 million people could lose unemployment benefits as well, and doctors would bear big cuts in Medicare payments.

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By Rodney, December 22, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What we are seeing is the hate and determination to destroy Obama and his Presidency, and the goal of the Republican party to make him a one term president, is more important than doing what is good for America and the American economy. Republicans especially the tea baggers have put America on notice. As long as Barack Hussein Obama is President,nothing that helps the average American will get passed. Nothing! Yet a lot of mainstream Republicans chose not to run against him. First of all they did not want to lose against a black man,secondly they did not want to cater to the tea baggers to get the Republican nomination. So the bet is if they can choke the life out of the economy they will win and Obama and the democrats will lose. Or the American people will realize and remember that Bush and the Republicans destroyed the middle class and the economy and the democrats will not only win the presidency but both houses of congress. That is a gamble the republicans are willing to take. Their hate and distain for Obama won’t allow it any other way.

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By Tim Kelly, December 21, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republicans have again outsmarted Obama and the Democrats.  By defeating efforts to extend the social security payroll tax reduction, the Republicans appear to Americans as helping more money stay in Americans’ pockets.  If the payroll tax reduction is extended, the Republicans then get to point out the future insolvency of social security, due to lack of collecting taxes for it.

Brilliant.  The Republicans have their cake and are eating it, too.

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