Reports: House GOP gives in, agrees to two-month tax holiday

National Journal is reporting that the House has backed down and agreed to pass, for now, only a two-month extension of the payroll-tax holiday. The AP and The Hill are reporting the same.

The bill reportedly will be the same as the one the Senate passed with a large bipartisan majority, except for “a technical correction to the language designed to minimize difficulties businesses might experience implementing the short-term, two-month tax cut extension.” As part of the deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will appoint conference-committee members to negotiate away the differences between his chamber’s bill and the House version, which called for a full-year textension.

House Republicans made this more embarrassing than they had to, by not backing Speaker John Boehner’s reported pledge to pass the two-month extension in the first place. They had a victory in hand with the agreement by the Senate and President Obama — who’d originally threatened a veto — to include a provision speeding up the approval process of the Keystone XL pipeline. Having already conceded the debate about whether a temporary tax cut is economically effective, they should have realized the issue was pure politics, booked that victory, and not risked spoiling it.

Assuming all goes off without a hitch, we’ll see who holds the political high ground when the debate turns to extending the holiday for the rest of 2012. After all, that — holding the political high ground — is all this exercise was really ever about. When congressional leaders wait until the weeks before Christmas to decide what to do about taxes in the new year, incompetence and lack of actual concern for taxpayers abound.

P.S. — I’ll update this post with further details as warranted.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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203 comments Add your comment

RedNeck Rick

December 22nd, 2011
4:49 pm

Good ole’ GOP…good for a laugh this holiday season.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
4:52 pm

Kyle,
One more time, do you still insist that there are no winners, politically, in this “stupid payroll-tax fight?”

Hillbilly D

December 22nd, 2011
4:53 pm

Well, I hate to say I told you so……but I did tell you. All the bloviating and harrumphing was just window dressing. It’s an election year and politicians jobs are at stake, after all.

It is a good thing they got this dog and pony show out of the way, though. Now, on to the next one.

Kyle Wingfield

December 22nd, 2011
4:57 pm

MarkV: At the end of the day, no — I don’t think independents, the only ones who are going to change their minds in one of these fights, sees either side in a particularly good light. If there is any movement, it will most likely be in the Dems’ direction. I just don’t anticipate their getting much mileage from it when the eventual end result will be the same.

Shine

December 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

Bunch of Kooky Republicans!! Why did they even put pipeline language, deregulating chit, in a payroll tax bill if they wanted workers to have a tax cut? Fact…they dont care about the payroll tax cut but they will give one as long as its paid for by non-millionaires and their energy kooks who lobby then get some stuff that poison society. They are full of crap and the public is on to their bs.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
5:06 pm

Listening to the Republican congressional leaders today, it was hard to believe the chutzpah and hypocrisy of these people. They would want you to believe that all they cared about was to extend the payroll tax for a full year, while the Democrats wanted only a two-moth extension. These liars failed to mention that they were against any payroll tax cut in the beginning, and then attached all kinds of other bills on it to either kill it or to get other things they wanted.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
5:07 pm

Kyle Wingfield @4:57 pm

The you are deaf and blind. Even the people writing the WSJ editorial know better.

Rafe Hollister

December 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Well, I am glad it is over. The GOP picked the wrong battle. At least now, maybe, Bo Obama (dog) can hitch a ride with PresBO and not have to fly alone back to Hawaii. It may save the taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars, and save Bo the stress of flying alone, who knows.

Dumb and Dumber

December 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Well this will give GOP Rep. Sensenbrenner more time to make snarky comments about Michelle Obama’s looks. And we can all be thankful for that this Christmas.

Dave

December 22nd, 2011
5:11 pm

I didn’t pay a lot of attention of this latest Republican House “my way or the highway” deal. It does seem that after three long years Obama and the Dems finally played a decent hand of poker. Too little, too late probably; but, as an independent voter, I’d like to see more of “no” from Obama and the Dems.

Rafe Hollister

December 22nd, 2011
5:16 pm

Chicago Sun Times
WASHINGTON — Who is paying for the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut working its way through Congress? The cost is being dropped in the laps of most people who buy homes or refinance beginning next year.

The typical person who buys a $200,000 home or refinances that amount starting on Jan. 1 would have to pay roughly $17 more a month for their mortgage, thanks to a fee increase included in the payroll tax cut bill that the Senate passed Saturday. The White House said the fee increases would be phased in gradually.

Why does no one ever discuss how these things are paid for. Looks like the usual Obama socialist funding scheme, robbing one to give to another. Soc Security nearly insolvent now, gets more insolvent, housing sliding down the cliff, is place in more peril. Workers allowed to keep a small amount to the money normally dedicated to Soc Sec on the one hand and paying more for their mortgage on the other.

Smoke and Mirrors I believe they can this stuff.

Cherokee

December 22nd, 2011
5:16 pm

Agreed Dave. Maybe with a win under their belt, the Dems won’t be so afraid to hold their positions…

Kyle Wingfield

December 22nd, 2011
5:20 pm

MarkV @ 5:07: And if I’d changed my tune after the WSJ editorial came out and Karl Rove criticized the GOP, you or someone else would have accused me of “getting my talking points” or “marching orders” and following them. Right?

I think what I think. I might be right, I might be wrong. But it was pretty clear yesterday that, if anyone was going to cave, it would be the House Republicans. I don’t know why their actually caving today should make me change my mind about the political consequences.

jconservative

December 22nd, 2011
5:20 pm

“If there is any movement, it will most likely be in the Dems’ direction.”

I completely agree.

michelle

December 22nd, 2011
5:21 pm

Okay, people, finally I’ve got him. Look at Kyle’s response at 4:57. I mean talking mamby-pamby scrotal-scrod. He’s not saying anything and he’s good at not saying it.

Why can’t you folks rise up in anger?

I know why. Because you’re all morons, who can’t read and even if you could read you wouldn’t know what you’re reading.

We are going down. You Neanderthals have spoken. And you said, “Duh, GRaarzzzrtzsalsizzeklgerbvilHGHZZIGTHEIHGOWIEJLKDisssssshhhhzhhewsss).

Good for you.

Centrist

December 22nd, 2011
5:23 pm

While the Republicans wanted to force a full year along with other concessions, they also demanded and got the following: “As part of the deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will appoint conference-committee members to negotiate away the differences between his chamber’s bill and the House version, which called for a full-year extension.”

They already forced the Obama administration to choose prior to the election between unions who want the Keystone pipeline and environmentalist knee-jerk opposition. Other concessions will come in February if the payroll tax goes more than 2 months, now that Reid has been forced to appoint conferees to negotiate differences in the Senate and House versions of a full year extension.

Martin Williams

December 22nd, 2011
5:29 pm

The GOP and the DEMS can take there two months tax break and shove it……………ops this a nice family paper. For the whole year the total tax break is about $1000 and that is nothing compared to what they get/received from Corporations.

Kyle Wingfield

December 22nd, 2011
5:34 pm

MarkV: I give you the 5:29 comment by Martin Williams, whose previous comments do not lead me to peg him as a raging tea partyer.

Ross Perot

December 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

The Dem’s burying their head in the sand when it comes to real issues like reducing entitlement spending/deficit spending. Hell they can’t even present a budget. Do nothing demo-spends disgust me.

What Goes Around Comes Around

December 22nd, 2011
5:44 pm

House Republicans made this more embarrassing than they had to, by not backing Speaker John Boehner’s reported pledge to pass the two-month extension in the first place.
*********************************************************

Republicans can’t even support each other.

Boehner and the Republicans CAVED. Bottom line! :)

This has been a disasterous week for John Boehner because he does not lead…yet he is lead.

This was about GET OBAMA and anything to make him look bad. IT BACK FIRED!

The public is watching this and seeing how reasonable Obama is being.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
5:45 pm

Kyle Wingfield @5:20 pm: “MarkV @ 5:07: And if I’d changed my tune after the WSJ editorial came out and Karl Rove criticized the GOP, you or someone else would have accused me of “getting my talking points” or “marching orders” and following them. Right?”

Wrong as far as I am concerned. I would not accuse you of that. I just find it difficult to believe that you do not see that people overwhelmingly are blaming the Republicans in this matter. They do not look at the details of the maneuvering, they see Obama and the Democrats insisting on the payroll cut extension, and the Republicans blocking it – until now.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

Kyle Wingfield @5:34 pm

I wish I knew what Martin Willaims at 5: 29 is talking about. If he wants to argue that the tax break, which “For the whole year …is about $1000″ is just something people do not care about, then there is no point taking him seriously.

Kyle Wingfield

December 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

MarkV: You are the one who is blind — or blindly partisan — if you think that the Republicans were blocking a payroll cut extension by approving exactly what Obama and the Dems had been asking for, a one-year extension of it. I can’t see how either side could be said to be blocking something they have both voted for, just with different details. If that makes me blind, so be it.

Odis

December 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

The House Republicans now look weak AND stupid. Why go thru with all this drama? Vote out all the republicans next year, we need to get this country moving forward again.

td

December 22nd, 2011
5:59 pm

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
5:45 pm

What people are you talking about? A lot of independents I have talked to on social networks think the whole idea of cutting the insurance premium for our children and grand children to pay for latter was a horrible idea in the first place.

td

December 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm

Odis

December 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

Moving forward in what direction? Oh, do you mean moving forward towards communism the way it was when the Dems were in charge? No thank you.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:03 pm

Kyle Wingfield @5:49 pm

Now you are not blind, but distorting both what I have written and the facts. Is it not true that many Republicans openly opposed the payroll cut extension, and some still do? “EXACTLY what Obama and Dems had been asking for?” (my emphasis) Is it now a fact that when Republicans “approved” the one year extension, it was only when they attached unrelated provisions, which made the bill unacceptable to the Democrats?

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:06 pm

td @ 5:59 pm: “What people are you talking about? A lot of independents I have talked to on social networks think the whole idea of cutting the insurance premium for our children and grand children to pay for latter was a horrible idea in the first place.”

Then you should blame your choice of people you talk to on social networks. Why do you think the Republicans in Congress caved in?

Michael H. Smith

December 22nd, 2011
6:07 pm

‘Cuse me please Kyle, but this is a payroll tax cut right? Now correct me if I’m wrong about this but isn’t Social Security and Medicare dependent on payroll taxes? Just how shall I say this… hmm… hem, haw, uh, oh, well, here goes… Isn’t SS&Medicare in a bit of financial difficulty already without cutting revenues to these funds?

Yeah, I’m with you Kyle, perhaps for different reasons, nevertheless the people obumer touts as being winners in this and getting a $1,000 may gain short term but you can’t borrow yourself rich or out of debt.

Please keep the lousy little $15 per pay check I’m getting from your payroll tax cut Mr. Prez, that small amount is going to cost me and other more than it is worth to the Social Security&Medicare benefits in the long run I’m afraid.

I don’t think revenues to fund the “Safety Net” should be cut.

td

December 22nd, 2011
6:07 pm

Neal Boortzbot

December 22nd, 2011
6:04 pm

Why don’t you explain to all of us how Obama care is not moving the country towards communism? What about the bailout of GM? Go ahead and explain and let us see if your definition of communism is the same as mine?

getalife

December 22nd, 2011
6:08 pm

They gave a gift to our President.

He will run as the tax cut President.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:09 pm

Neal Boortzbot @6:04 pm

I am sorry, but I had to laugh. Is there any doubt regarding the answer to your question?

michelle

December 22nd, 2011
6:09 pm

Jay bookman who coddles a Bookman of Sphincters has just made the big mistake. Read the last few threads for which I was banned yet again from Bookman’s idiotic and sphinctorously oraficial blog. Well, it’s too late, he deleted the gold. Yes, everything I wrote was so funny and true that Bookman couldn’t stand it

I think a jury would agree with me.

I will settle out of court with Jay Bookman for three point two million dollars.

Otherwise, lets let the world decide.

getalife

December 22nd, 2011
6:11 pm

Michael H. Smith ,

Factor in the millions of job revenue w lost in the collapse.

I don’t think SS and Medicare stands a chance for future generations.

Aquagirl

December 22nd, 2011
6:11 pm

There was clearly a misfire among the Republicans, so while there is plenty of blame to spread around, I think Kyle is fooling himself if he thinks it’ll fall equally on both parties. Clearly Boehner thought he had an agreement, then his own party bailed. You can’t reach an agreement when one side can’t make up their mind what in the hell they want.

I would love to know what type of kick in the teanuts was administered to get this deal moving again. Somebody must have dragged the caucus of NO into reality for a moment. I doubt they will stay there but it’s a start.

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:12 pm

“…you can’t borrow yourself rich or out of debt.”

People who claim this really know nothing.

Cornbreesha

December 22nd, 2011
6:12 pm

I’m with the earlier poster who questioned how this latest government handout is being paid for.

A two month tax reduction extension will cost billions, and they want us to believe it’ll be financed by a fee on new home buyers? Get real. We’ll pay for it like everything else, print more funny money and sell some more T bills to the Chicoms.

getalife

December 22nd, 2011
6:14 pm

Too bad you did not worry about paying for the occupations and bush tax cuts.

Trillions.

td

December 22nd, 2011
6:17 pm

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:06 pm

“Why do you think the Republicans in Congress caved in?”

That one is easy. The politics look bad at this time of the year. If they would have done this on April 15th I am willing to bet they would have a great deal more support.

michelle

December 22nd, 2011
6:20 pm

BTW I am the only person to get banned from all of the AJC blogs for extended periods of time. I’ve been banned by this blog for some reason, but was reinstated when the readership crashed.

People love me. WHY? I don’t know. Maybe it could be…..I can’t think of anything…..nothing comes to mind….what could it be……gee whiz……..having a real problem here explaining this one…….maybe….its…because….I’m…….a…..GENIUS?????????

you decide. Boycott Kyle and Jay if they ban me. Simply don’t read it. It’s partisan drivel anyway. Do you all realize that only about a dozen commenters write the thousands of comments that infect the AJC blogs every single day?

These Bookman trolls have nothing else to do. Some of them are very successful people. I mean, wow.

Look, the French Revolution started with the uneducated losers/fish women of Paris going on a rampage. They were sick of it.

Aren’t you?

Lets take over this blog. It’s clicks that rule. Unless I am allowed to write, then don’t click.,

Bookman is total (fill in the blank with your own invective).

he deserves it and you know it.

What really pisses me off is that he thinks he’s in the right. He actually, astonishingly believes that he’s the good guy here. I guess so did Nero, Caligula, Attilla, Henry the Eighth, and Pee Wee Herman.

And I think it’s a damn shame.

Michael H. Smith

December 22nd, 2011
6:20 pm

getalife

SS and Medicare probably won’t stand a chance without serious reforms but Bush really doesn’t deserve nearly as much credit as you leftist attempt to give him for screwing up everything. Especially when this guy obumer, your Prez, has done so little to improve anything for the better.

michelle

December 22nd, 2011
6:21 pm

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:21 pm

Neal Boortzbot @6:13 pm

I would disagree with you slightly. The definition of communism, or at least a minimum knowledge of what communism means, matter. td should explain how bailout of GM is “movement to communism.”

MarkV

December 22nd, 2011
6:23 pm

td @6:17 pm: “The politics look bad at this time of the year.”

Thank you for agreeing with me.

michelle

December 22nd, 2011
6:26 pm

Thank you, Neal, for my Perry Mason moment.

Bookman and the AJC just lost big time. You should have stfu. You total shlamozzle.

Centrist

December 22nd, 2011
6:26 pm

@ michelle – Some of us NEVER read Bookman’s blog because it is so far out there. You’ll need to explain what is going on.

michelle

December 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

Neal is ANDY. And the definition of communism depends on whether we are at the yellow, orange or red state of alert.

Do the math, morons.

Michael H. Smith

December 22nd, 2011
6:28 pm

you can’t borrow yourself rich or out of debt

People who claim this really know nothing.

Intelligent people know debt is not good and you can’t get rich by simply borrowing money, especially when you are broke.

Michael H. Smith

December 22nd, 2011
6:31 pm

Neal Boortzbot
December 22nd, 2011
6:26 pm

I right because obumer is basically a Marxist. Just as I’m right that W. Bush is a liberal.

Ross Perot

December 22nd, 2011
6:36 pm

“…you can’t borrow yourself rich or out of debt.”

People who claim this really know nothing.

He!! yeah. Print more money. It’s funny money anyway. Deficits mean nothing as long as we can print more (sarcasm). Hey dude, do you EVER think you will live to see ANY budget without massive deficit spending?

People who claim this really know nothing.
President downgrade (check the new downgrade warnings for 2013)will have us looking like Europe in no time. But they won’t have the money to bail us out….