The fight to salvage the economy continues with John Boehner announcing that he does not support the Senate’s payroll tax cut bill.
According to the National Journal, Boehner, the Republican from Ohio and current Speaker of the House, said Sunday that the two month payroll tax extension will not be passed in the House of Representatives. He also said that Congress has two weeks to come up with another deal before the holiday break.
“Well, it’s pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill – it’s only for two months,” said Boehner on NBC’s Meet the Press. “If you talk to employers, they talk about the uncertainty. How can you do tax policy for two months?”
Even moderate Republicans joined Tea Party legislators in opposing the bill being negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Democrat of Nevada. Reasons for widespread loathing of the bill are driven by legislative and political concerns.
Legislatively, Republicans believe that a two-month extension further perpetuates economic uncertainty and they do not wish to keep taxpayers and doctors who receive funds from Medicare in limbo, wondering if the policy will be extended after two months. Politically, critics say that GOP members don’t want to allow Democrats, who champion the short term bill, to appear more forceful on tax cuts.
Even Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky- who are usually in agreement as they were with the debt-ceiling legislation- are apparently at odds over the end-of-year two month deal.
Aides told The Journal that during their private conversations last week, Boehner never suggested to McConnell that he planned to allow the temporary deal.
Boehner said that rather than pass the President-approved Senate bill, Congress should assemble a formal joint House-Senate conference to create a deal in the normal fashion.
“We’ve got to two weeks to get this done,” Boehner said on Meet the Press. “Let’s do it the right way.”
House Republicans are also determined not to sacrifice the compromise from Senate Democrats to drop the millionaire tax which would have financed the payroll tax cut extension. Boehner added that a congressional compromise could be reached soon.