House Republicans, Senate Locked In Stalemate Over Payroll Tax Extension

Obama: If They Don't Come To An Agreement, Your Taxes Will Go Up Come Jan. 1

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — House Republicans have refused to approve extensions to payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. The action leaves millions of Americans in the lurch.

“The clock is ticking, and time is running out. If House Republicans refuse to vote for the Senate bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

Obama warned on Tuesday that without a compromise most of us will have lighter wallets come January, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“We have people that are counting on us to make their lives just a little bit easier,” the president said.

There was an attack Tuesday by a group of Staten Island Democrats on Republican Congressman Michael Grimm for refusing to support an extension of the payroll tax cut, which amounts to about $1,000 for the average tax payer.

It is a foreshadowing of what House Republicans will face if their inability to agree with the Senate continues and results in a tax hike on Jan. 1.

“That is such a fearful … such a cruel thing to gamble with other people’s ability to be able to enjoy this holiday season,” said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-Harlem.

“Is this the Christmas present? Is this the New Year’s gift that were going to give the American people?” asked Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.

“What is happening here today is shameful, it is a disgrace,” added Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

But Rep. Grimm defended his vote.

“Everyone knows that a two-month Band-Aid is not the right approach. Even the president said it would be inexcusable not to pass this for a year,” Grimm said.

At issue is the House’s refusal to agree with a Senate bill that extends the payroll tax for 160 million Americans and unemployment benefits for up to 2 million Americans for two months. The House wants a one-year extension.

“As I see the debate today you’re arguing for a $166 tax cut because it’s only for two months. I want to give the average American family a $1,000 tax cut. That means doing it for 12 months,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “A two months extension is nothing more than kicking the can down the road.”

What the House did do Tuesday was what some said is politically sneaky. It didn’t want to outright vote against the payroll tax cut, with this being an election year and all, so instead it voted to “disagree” and seek a Senate conference to come up with a compromise. The problem is the Senate is in holiday recess and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he won’t come back.

“Put the bill on floor. Don’t twist arms. Let people vote as they wish to vote. The large majority would vote for it,” New York Sen. Charles Schumer said. “To just simply pull the rug out from under [taxpayers] would be bad for the economy, bad for them.”

As of late Tuesday it was a stalemate. The Senate won’t agree to any House compromise until that body passes the original two-month extension, and highly placed House sources told Kramer that Tea Party activists won’t do that.

One congressman said “It’s so crazy … Right now nobody knows how we’re going to save the tax cut, or if we will.”

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Robert Hrubes

    This trully makes me sick we ,let me coin a fraze{the 99%} take the hit again.If the republican party wants us the american people to back them in 2012, they need to come to the table and back us, i am lucky enought to have a job in the medical feild and i work all the holidays. Maybe for their six figure pay check they could work one also !

  • Spenser

    VOTING straight Democrat in 2012! The heck with the GOP! I agree with rose they are so worried about raising their own taxes. However they are ok on raising the middle class and poor peoples taxes. Throw the Generous Only to the PARTY out of Congress in both houses!

    The only think trickling down is the GOP Whizzing on the American people!

    • tom 2 tone

      How Stupid are you ? Do you remember when the Dems had the House Senate and White house for 2 years and didn’t even pass a budget let alone anything significant except when they forced OBAOCARE down everyone’s throat and claiming they were doing the people’s work. Now they are acting like a bunch aof spoiled little kids even referencing Charlie Brown and Lucy because they cannot get thier way. People you better smartiin up and face the reality that the DEMS and the PREIDENT want a socialist country and an entitlement society with no personal responsibility anymore which has made this country great !
      The DEMS with Harry Ried, and the cookcoo Nancy Pelosi are to blame here. Why settle for a 2 month extension, why because they want to go home for the holidays instead of working. Why not do what the President originally asked for a 1 year extension and get it done now. Obama now says because his Hawaii vacation is in jeopardy that 2 months is Ok. What is going to change in 2 weeks as Nancy Pelosi said that they need more time to figure this out, they had a year and now they need more time. Give me a break, wake up people in 2 months it will be the same thing over again only worse as we get closer to an election where Obama the worst President since Jimmy Carter will get his butt kicked in the elections.

      • Michael H.

        The House bill the Republicans are putting forward tacks on things like the pipeline from Canada, unemployment benefit cuts, cuts medicaid among many other unrelated things. The House bill is full of bunk that has no business being there.

  • rose

    They are so worried about adding taxes on the rich, but don’t give a damn about the rest of us?? Pretty damn hypocritical.



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