House Republicans Cave, Deal Reached on Payroll Tax Cuts

Just Days Before Christmas, Payroll Tax Cut Deal Reached

House Republicans finally conceded Thursday evening and passed the payroll tax cut bill.

Political stalemate was continuing in Congress Thursday morning with the President refusing House Speaker John Boehner’s request to negotiate extending the bill from two months to one year.

House Republicans were asking that the plan, which passed overwhelmingly in the Senate by Republicans and Democrats alike, be maneuvered into a more stable one year long plan. received reports from the White House saying “the only viable option” is the two-month extension, but Obama was “committed to begin working immediately on a full-year agreement once the House passes the bipartisan Senate compromise that prevents a tax hike on 160 million Americans on January 1.”

Republican leaders like Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had expressed their view that House Republicans must accept the bill and put politics aside for the American public. If the bill had not passed by the end of the year, 160 million middle class American workers were set to lose $40 per paycheck- approximately $1,000 per year.

"The Republicans are losing this fight. We need to get back on track," McCain said on CNN's "American Morning" Thursday. “A thousand dollars a year is a big amount of money to most Americans, and I think it's very important. ... I worry about the fact that we are continuing to increase the debt and the deficit, but now it's become very symbolic, and I think it has to be done."

But Boehner said in a news conference Thursday morning that he believed House Republicans are doing what’s right for the American people by simply asking for more discussion on a more long term arrangement than the $33 billion Senate bill.

The Senate passed a two-month extension of the payroll tax last Saturday, and the House passed its own year-long extension on December 13.

“Politics will be politics. Our team believes it’s always right to do the best thing,” Boehner said at a news conference Thursday morning.

“Everybody’s already agreed that the best policy is the one year extension of these policies. All we’re fighting for is what everybody has already agreed to. Let’s sit down and resolve the differences.”

Majority Leader Eric Cantor managed to take a swipe at the President at the news conference.

“I saw the President out yesterday doing his Christmas shopping. I saw he brought his dog with him,” Cantor said. “We’re here. He could bring his dog up here. We are pet friendly. It will not take a long time. We could probably resolve the differences within an hour.”

A number of analysts have expressed that the actions of House GOP members could have negative effects on a possible Republican win for the 2012 Presidential election.

The Wall Street Journal disparaged Boehner and his GOP colleagues in a Wednesday editorial, arguing that they "achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter."