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Menendez: House Republicans To Blame If Middle Class Tax Hike Happens

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U.S. Capitol - Washington, DC - Dec 18, 2011 (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Capitol – Washington, DC – Dec 18, 2011 (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP / WCBS 880) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will not renegotiate a year-long extension of payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits unless the House first approves a bipartisan two-month version that House Republicans strongly oppose.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

The Nevada Democrat’s remarks seemed to put the Senate on a collision course with the GOP-run House. Speaker John Boehner told reporters that he expects the House to reject the two-month bill Monday evening.

The Senate passed the shorter version on Saturday with strong support from senators of both parties and the backing of President Barack Obama. It had been negotiated by Senate leaders of both parties.

After that vote, House Republican lawmakers told their leaders that they strongly opposed the Senate bill. Boehner and other top House Republicans then said they opposed the Senate-approved bill.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey says, if middle class taxes are forced to go up, it is the House Republicans who are to blame, pointing out that the Senate bill passed 89 to 10, a rare show of bipartisanship.

“Republicans have been more engaged in standing up for those making over $1 million and saying they deserve to get a continuing tax cut versus giving middle class working families a tax cut that will ultimately spur this economy,” Menendez told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane on Monday.

Menendez ran down a list of experts who warned of another recession without the tax break and said Republicans have to make a choice.

What do you think about the payroll tax situation? Sound off in the comments section below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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