Breaking: House GOP agrees to Senate’s two-month payroll-tax bill; Update: House freshmen want a floor vote; Update: “It may not have been politically the smartest thing in the world”

posted at 4:11 pm on December 22, 2011 by Allahpundit

Just across from National Journal. Our dumb national nightmare is over.

House Republicans on Thursday crumpled under the weight of White House and public pressure and have agreed to pass a two-month extension of the 2 percent payroll-tax cut, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal…

The House will pass the two-month extension with a technical correction to the language designed to minimize difficulties businesses might experience implementing the short-term, two-month tax cut extension.

In exchange, Reid agreed to appoint several Senate Democrats to start negotiating with the House on a full-year payroll-tax holiday extension, which is right in line with McConnell’s blueprint from this morning. Updates are coming but let’s get this up since news is breaking. Two questions to mull while we wait. One: Does the “technical correction” mentioned by National Journal mean the Senate will have to return and pass the House’s version of the bill? I thought the House was under pressure to pass the Senate bill precisely because the upper chamber wasn’t going to reconvene before New Year’s. Two: If you’re going to cave, why not take Rove’s advice and wait another week, when people will be even more distracted by the holidays? Particularly strange is that this is breaking within just a few hours of The One holding a presser to demand action with middle-class taxpayers lovingly arrayed behind him. Now it looks like even more of a capitulation than it is. Merry Christmas from the GOP, champ. Exit quotation from Philip Klein: “So instead of story being ‘Obama caves on Keystone’ it’ll be ‘GOP caves on middle class tax cut’ Great work!”

Update: The House Republican conference call on the bill is set for 5 p.m. Serious question: If he can’t muster enough GOP votes to pass this thing despite overwhelming support from Democrats, is he done as Speaker?

Update: If Boehner thinks he’s going to pass this thing quietly, via unanimous consent, he’s apparently mistaken.

Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy, R- Wisc., who represents a marginal district that was held for many years by Democrat David Obey, said, “I’m calling on GOP leadership to immediately bring up the Senate’s two-month extension for an up or down vote.”

Another GOP freshman Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas made a similar statement.

Update: It’s a little after 5:30 ET and Boehner’s holding a presser as I write this. The takeaway thus far: “It may not have been politically the smartest thing in the world” to wage this ultimately futile war. Smart thinking, JB.

A reporter asked him if he knows whether there’ll be no objection by the GOP rank and file if he moves for unanimous consent. Answer: “I don’t know that.” Hmmmm.

Breaking on Hot Air