The House should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provisions, and allows Congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions.Mitch McConnell also threw John Boehner under the bus regarding the payroll tax cut. He follows Karl Rove.
» Shot down, softly: The House voted today on the Senate’s bill to extend (temporarily, by two months) the payroll tax cut President Obama has been calling for; the bill also would have extended unemployment insurance. The bill failed, though not on an up-or-down vote — the House instead voted affirmatively (with 229 “yeas”) to disapprove of the bill, calling for the two houses of Congress to hold conference to hammer out changes. Problem is, the Senate is out of session for the year, and Majority Leader Harry Reid has no intention of reconvening: “My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today… in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians.” Seven Republicans joined Democrats in opposition.
While this agreement is for two months, it is my expectation — in fact it would be inexcusable for Congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut for the rest of the year. It should be a formality. And hopefully it’s done with as little drama as possible when they get back in January.President Obama • In remarks after the Senate passed a two-month-long extension to the payroll tax cuts. While he’s still annoyed by the fact that tax increases for the wealthy aren’t connected with the bill, “I think that it’s important for us to get it done,” he claimed. Think that further extensions will happen without said drama? Or is the president dreaming? The House will take a final stab at the bill on Monday. source (via • follow)
If Sen. Reid wants to hold up the jobs bill, he will go on Santa’s naughty list.Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) • Offering a somewhat … uh, interesting take on the House’s passage of a payroll tax cut, which Republicans pushed through with a fairly large caveat — it would speed up the process of approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which was delayed until 2013 to give some time to examine environmental issues brought up by critics. The bill is expected to die in the Senate, and even if it weren’t, Obama would most likely veto it. The divided Congress is under the gun to pass a payroll tax cut and a spending bill to fund the government beyond Friday. Sounds like a fun week, all. source (via • follow)