Stuck On Capitol Hill Over Payroll Tax Cut

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are in a stalemate. Republicans in the House have rejected a Senate approved plan to extend the payroll tax and jobless benefits for two months.

The Republicans, who want a one-year extension, want the Senate to return to Washington to negotiate. If there's no action taken before the end of the year, payroll taxes for workers go up January 1.

Lawmakers voted 229-193 to send the measure back to the Senate. But Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will not allow any bargaining until the Republicans relent and the House approves the short-term bipartisan measure which passed the Senate with an overwhelming majority. President Barack Obama has voiced support for the legislation, but has also said it needs to be quickly extended to cover all of 2012.

The House passed a full-year extension last week, but included many spending cuts opposed by Democrats. Republican members erupted in frustration at the Senate measure, which drops changes to the unemployment insurance system that conservatives wanted along with cuts to Obama's health care law.

Lawmakers are looking to renew a 2 percentage point cut in the Social Security payroll tax, plus jobless benefits averaging about $300 a week for the long-term unemployed. The impasse could mean a tax hike for 160 million American workers in January, while almost 2 million people could lose their unemployment benefits.


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  • by Michele Location: Wisconsin on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM
    Politician work for the American people and need to do what the they are asking for. Most american's need the money on their paycheck's, even if the payroll tax is only $10.00 a week less on their paychecks that be a meal for a family. It is time the politicians start working for the people once again and quit worrying about being re-elected. The american people need to get rid of all incumbents and start from scratch. I am just a struggling single mother that was unemployed for almost 2 years. I just want to take care of my family with food and a home to live in. Get to work politicians because I do not get paid if I do not work neither should any of you.
    • reply
      by Tony on Dec 21, 2011 at 01:55 PM in reply to Michele
      Amen to that, I'm going to vote against any incumbent. regardless.
  • by Skeeter Location: Raleigh NC on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM
    Seems to me that the Senate can not or will not look at the bills passed by the House and sent to them. Why are some people saying that the Republican will not agree with the Senate bill to extend the payroll tax cut for TWO MONTHS and that this is the House Republican's failure? Remember that we are talking about 2% (two cents on the dollar) so for many folks that is NO BIG DEAL! It is only when you add up the amounts for all of the United States that the amount is large. Average annual salary of $25,000 would give a $500 payroll tax reduction for a year (approximately $10 a week). Why waste so much time discussing this issue? must be the other things placed in the bill that is important to congressmen and senators! ?
  • by ncyankee Location: enc on Dec 21, 2011 at 09:56 AM
    Just sick and tired of them all, dem, rep, indepentants, and ALL OF THEM, I say, turn Washington upside down into a wood chipper, and start all over again. this is so uncalled for..
  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 09:55 AM
    The Republicans in the House of Representatives keep sending jobs bills to the Senate to help working class Americans but the Democrat majority in the Senate keep voting no to help working class Americans. In 2012, vote Republican to get the economy on track.
  • by TIRED Location: Beaufort Co. on Dec 21, 2011 at 09:30 AM
    I am so sick and tired of these Republicans playing games at the price of hard working middle class Americans!! Wake up people and call it for what it is..Republicans will do anything to undermind and make this President as less successful as possible..have of the people that vote for Republican in this county dont even benefit from anything they stand for..wake up people!!
  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 09:25 AM
    if this is the best they can do, they need to retire, draw the huge retirement they get and leave town. I think no new laws are better than these people killing the taxpayers.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 09:03 AM
    The Democrats are the majority party in the Senate. I suppose it was more important for them to leave early for their month long vacation than to pass a 12 month extention of the tax cut for working class Americans.In 2012 vote for Republicans who want to vote for a 12 month extention, not a Mickey mouse version of a two month extention penned by teh Deomcrats and endorsed by Barrack Obama.
    • reply
      by Barlow on Dec 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM in reply to
      The majority of Republicans in the Senate voted for this. There was NO vote in the House as Boehner sent everybody but about 6 reps home who stayed to form their committee to meet with no one. So I guess it was more important for Boehner to have a Mickey Mouse version of a committee than help the American people
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil Co on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM in reply to Barlow
        Wrong again as you don't know the details as usual. You are playin arm chair to a game you don't even know about. Of course, Matt Damon was fooled too; In the new issue of Elle Magazine, Damon doesn‘t hold back on his negative assessment of Obama’s overall performance. The actor attacks the president for not getting “stuff done” and he uses some strong language to describe his first term. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, ‘Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician,’” Damon said. “You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.”
  • by Barlow Location: Winterville on Dec 21, 2011 at 08:14 AM
    What is the Democrat's fault is mistakenly believing that the Republican house is capable of agreeing on anything. They can't agree with their Republican colleagues in the Senate, and they can't even agree amongst themselves in the House. The are capable of NOthing. This congress has the worst approval rating in history and that was BEFORE this latest fiasco. And then they want everyone to come back to Washington so they "can work out a deal" LOL. Now, how likely is that when they can't even agree among themselves? Even their Repug buddies in the Senate aren't foolish enough to believe that.
  • by Greg Location: Greenville on Dec 21, 2011 at 07:37 AM
    Once again WITN please report on how our elected officials vote on this. I for one want to know who votes to raise my taxes
    • reply
      by Bud on Dec 21, 2011 at 08:30 AM in reply to Greg
      To see how each member voted go to: http://www.rollcall.com/
  • by Anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 07:36 AM
    Since the Senate could only muster a measley two month bill, the Republicans in the House are doing everything they can do to bring them back from their early vacation to finish doing their jobs that the voters elected the Senate to do. Barrack Obama should do what the voters and tax payers elected him to do, and call the Senate back to Washington to finish their job.
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