Breaking: House passes Senate payroll-tax holiday extension on unanimous consent

posted at 10:43 am on December 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

House Republicans managed to end their week-long facepalm moment not with a bang, or even a whimper.  Speaker John Boehner passed the Senate 60-day payroll-tax holiday extension by unanimous consent after a face-saving deal was reached yesterday:

The House on Friday morning approved a bill extending the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance for two months, and also prevents a planned cut to reimbursements for Medicare physicians.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) asked for unanimous consent, which was declared approved by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The bill is H.R. 3765.

After having to front a public-relations disaster courtesy of a rebellion in his ranks, Boehner re-asserted control rather forcefully in the end.  Any member of the GOP caucus could have forced a roll-call vote on the Senate bill, but in the end none did.  Perhaps the realization that they had handed Barack Obama a golden opportunity to paint Republicans as opposing middle-class tax cuts, no matter what the reality of the convoluted opposition to the bipartisan Senate compromise might be, kept them silent on the floor this morning.

Or perhaps they finally recognized that Senate Republicans had actually negotiated a pretty good deal in the end, and left room for even more gains in the next 60 days:

Optics aside, the bill in many ways represents a policy victory for Republicans, as it does not pay for the payroll tax extension through higher taxes, as Democrats had first proposed. It also includes language that requires the Obama administration to make a decision on the Keystone oil sands pipeline extension within 60 days, something President Obama initially said he would veto.

The bill also gives a nod to Republican concerns that a two-month payroll tax extension would create a new accounting burden for companies. Republicans said they were worried that a two-month extension would complicate the effort of employers to implement the tax holiday with their employees.

Both Boehner and Reid announced Democratic conferees that will negotiate a final one-year extension after the first of the year, although the Republicans have yet to announce theirs.  They come from the committees most involved in tax and spending policy in both chambers, with no real surprises.  Hopefully, the holidays and the Iowa caucuses will soon make this week a dim memory for most Americans, but you can bet the Democrats will do their best to remind voters of this all during 2012.

Update: A couple of commenters say that the conference committee could reverse the Keystone language, but that would have to get Republican support; the conferees know that the House won’t pass a bill without it.  Besides, Senate Democrats voted overwhelming for the bill that included that language, even after Obama threatened to veto the bill if it survived in final form; they couldn’t muster enough votes to filibuster the amendment that added it.  There’s very little risk that the conference committee will reverse that language, and the 60-day limit means that Obama has to make the Keystone decision by the time the extension expires.


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And on an unrelated note….

The debt is now $15 TRILLION and counting

HAPPY FESTIVUS BOEHNER

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

and…we’re outta here

thedevilinside on December 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

They are all stupid and the fact that they have so much control over our lives should scare everyone sh!tless. What a bunch of maroons!

Cindy Munford on December 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Unanimous consent.

No record of who did or did not vote for it.

The coward vote.

BobMbx on December 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

and also prevents a planned cut to reimbursements for Medicare physicians.

WAIT A MINUTE! I thought Nancy Pelosi said that Congress would finally bite the bullet and make the reimbursement cut as part of the funding for ObamaCare.

GarandFan on December 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

How many voters know or even care to know all the wonky little victories in this bill for the GOP? All they know is, Obama gave them a Christmas holiday present and beat the mean old Republicans.

Still a fail, IMHO.

PattyJ on December 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM

My father gave a truism during the Clinton Administration that is still valid today:

Democrats don’t know how to lose, and Republicans don’t know how to win.

Weebork on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

This is what happens when the Tea Party method is tried. Not so good in reality, is it? Nice job, folks. Nice job. Let me help wipe that egg off your faces.

NoStoppingUs on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The Republicans lost again. Status quo still belongs to the Democrats. Congratulations!

forest on December 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

GOP needs to do a far better job of getting their message out. Republican House passed a full year tax cut, Democratic Senate went for two months of uncertainty and then cut and ran. GOP should have demanded Dear Liar call Congress back into session for the full year vote. Truly the gang that can’t shoot straight. Call the Democrats’ bluff.

rbj on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

My father gave a truism during the Clinton Administration that is still valid today:

Democrats don’t know how to lose, and Republicans the Tea Party don’t know how to win.

Weebork on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

There. FTFY.

NoStoppingUs on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaw, I can get drunker now!

racquetballer on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

We need 500 Allen West!!!!

lisa fox on December 23, 2011 at 10:54 AM

dumbasses…

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 23, 2011 at 10:54 AM

ah yes christmas. kissing under the mistletoe and bending over for the left.
happens every year since obama has reigned.

next year we take it from one of the seven dwarfs.

renalin on December 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM

May come back to haunt. Probably will as Obama will try to renege on his promise to work on it in future as he always does. NEVER trust a Dem of any stripe.

jeanie on December 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Lemme guess… In conference, the donks will countermand the XL initiative and push the decision till after 2012 and drop in a few more poison pills, i.e. funding the payroll tax break via increased taxes. IOW, the donks will try to get back everything they wanted with the original and then some.

AH_C on December 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

And with the One receiving a Rasmussen “Presidential Approval Index rating of -13,” which is “the president’s best Approval Index rating in five months, since July 15,” the focus needs to be put and kept on his horrific performance and abysmal record. The unforced errors and infighting among the Republicans need to stop in a hurry.

And why is it that the One’s approval rating generally seems to go up when he is away on vacation? Out of sight, out of mind — or something else?

Blackacre on December 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Krauthammer gets it right.

The GOP’s performance nicely reprises that scene in “Animal House” where the marching band turns into a blind alley and row after row of plumed morons plow into a brick wall, crumbling to the ground in an unceremonious heap. With one difference: House Republicans are unplumed.

Speakup on December 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Boehner and McConnell have to be working for the other side. No two people can be this incompetent this often.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM

The real show will start two months from now when Obama will have no choice but to choose between the unions or the environazis on the Keystone Pipeline.

tictoc02660 on December 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Bye bye boehner, enjoy your vaca and stay away a little longer if you like dufus!

tim c on December 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I love people blaming the tea party. Heaven forbid, someone stands up for the Constitution. Yep, them people trying to salvage our country from both the Democrats and these cowardly liberal Republicans are the real problem here.

search4truth on December 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Is this Little o attacking the elderly again? Isn’t SS supposed to become fiscally insolvent by 2021 or something like that. It looks like Little o is trying to speed this along. Couple this with rationing health care and it seems like he has some sort of grudge against the older generations as well as the people who have not planned well for the future.

JAGonzo on December 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

In 2 months, I anxiously await McConnell being AGHAST that his democrat “friends” are being buttholes.

SouthernGent on December 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Get out of town before you turkey do anymore damage.

NickDeringer on December 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Not A SINGLE Pub. objected, and called for a roll call vote. Cowards, all.

they lie on December 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

From the Hill:

“I know that the American people are pleased that we have come together to agree on this extension to give certainty and peace of mind to 160 million Americans who are concerned about losing their tax cut, the 48 million seniors who are concerned about their Medicare, and the 2.3 million people who are unemployed and seeking work who are fearful of losing their benefits,” Hoyer said.

Wow! Sixty days of certainty and peace of mind. Some one should tell Joe Biden this is a big effing deal!

Rovin on December 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM

In Washington, down is up and up is down. Where else can a jack-ass President who would tax toilet paper look to the uninformed as a tax cutter.

I guess that’s when on top of having a couple of dimwits for Republican leaders, we have a load of Marxists in the media. I truly fear for my childrens future….sigh.

wsucoug on December 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Maybe I missed it, but have any of the Candidates in the primary chimed in on this debacle?

Daemonocracy on December 23, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Boehner ain’t going nowhere… The Republican establishment is democrat lite, and Boehner is the posterchild for the slow road to ruin. Both sides are statists it’s just that one side is just dyed deeper shade of red thats all.

tictoc02660 on December 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

GOP needs to do a far better job of getting their message out.

rbj on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I’m not sure how they would do that. The problem is that we have one party that lives on lies, a corrupt media that regurgitates them and a dumbed down population that is too busy watching Jersey Shore and football to fact check anything. I get the frustration with the Republicans, but I just don’t see how they are supposed to get the message out. We here get it. The average drone just hears “evil Republicans” from the American Pravda media and swallow it hook, line and sinker. That’s what frustrates the hell out of me.

hoofhearted on December 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Wow! Sixty days of certainty and peace of mind. Some one should tell Joe Biden this is a big effing deal!

Rovin on December 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM

What is that, about $80 bucks per person, if that? Peace of mind comes cheap nowadays…

Kraken on December 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Disgusting.Having said that why the vitriol towards the tea party?From my perspective the 2010 election was a call for fiscal responsibility. The new House members have tried to honor that “mandate” and look what happens.Could it have been handled better? You know it, but we need to keep in mind who we are dealing with here. The Democrats who will do anything to keep control and a media hell bent on the reelection of Obama.Hard obstacles to overcome, but we are going to have to find a way or it’s four more years of Obama…

sandee on December 23, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Why do we even bother voting for a Pub.? We’d be just as well off if we only had one party rule. At least Socialism/Marxism would proceed with less theatrics.

they lie on December 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

What a bunch of wimps& girly-men these Republicans are! They deserve to be sent home. In chains. Perry’s idea of cutting their pay in half is too merciful. I hope that when they go home for Christmas their constituents give them the what-for.

Listen, Boehner and Company. Cowards are far worse than villains. We will deal with you the way we’ll deal with Obama in November 2012: with political vengeance. Put in plain English, we will vote you out STAT.

louisianapatriette on December 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Folks, the two-month tax holiday cannot be implemented without software upgrades made to existing systems. Those changes do not currently exist, and it will take at least a few months to get them in place before any ‘holiday’ can be realized. This is a victory for the Democrats? They just won something that isn’t feasible at this point.

joejm65 on December 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Another Proud Moment in GOP Leadership History

workingclass artist on December 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

This was McConnell’s doing. Do not forget how much he despises the Tea Party. He has been setting up the House like this all ear to discredit them.

Neomom on December 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I’m not sure how they would do that. The problem is that we have one party that lives on lies, a corrupt media that regurgitates them and a dumbed down population that is too busy watching Jersey Shore and football to fact check anything. I get the frustration with the Republicans, but I just don’t see how they are supposed to get the message out. We here get it. The average drone just hears “evil Republicans” from the American Pravda media and swallow it hook, line and sinker. That’s what frustrates the hell out of me.

hoofhearted on December 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

You can blame the corrupt media only so much. Look at the stratgey Obama/Reid employed. In September, they gave the order for OWS to start right after the big “jobs” speech from Obama. For 2 months they had OWS chanting about income inequality. What did the GOP do? Nothing. No counter offensive. No focus on the absolute BS, OWS was spewing. Not a peep.

Then in November they started framing the debate as a “middle class tax cut” paid for by making the “rich pay a fair share”. What did the GOP do? Nothing. No counter attack on the fact that the 1% pays 40% of taxes. Not a peep.

Then in Decemeber after, 4 months of beating the same drum in a co-ordinated way, they won a huge battle. Yes, the MSM helped. But when Boehner/McConnell/RNC sit idly by for 4 months while the DNC/Soros/Reid/Obama are out in front of the cameras 24/7, you can’t blame the MSM for that.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

This was not their finest hour.

Luckily there is a long long long long time to the election and they’ve learned something.

gophergirl on December 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

hoofhearted on December 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Instead of being mealey mouthed, Boehner could have come out and said “we’ve passed a year long extension, it’s the Senate Democrats who don’t want that.” It’s frustrating that the GOP in Washington seems unwilling to take on a big fight, get their talking points (based on facts) in order, and push back. Push back against the media as well for their distortions and lies.

rbj on December 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

I do not know any longer which group is out of touch. Are HA denizens just talking to ourselves, a small but committed band of folks who think they understand the great financial peril which our nation faces?

Or will the DC establishment; the Ds and their media whores; and the Rs who only want to remain in power, play their political games endlessly because they can?

How in the name of heaven above did an idiot like Harry Reid get to be Senate Majority leader? I mean I think the fact that Reid and Pelosi are leaders belies any notion that we are a great nation.

And if those two morons can outmaneuver McConnell and Boehner, what does that say about Republican leaders?

Then 2010 election changed absolutely nothing.

Sheerq on December 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Steny Hoyer is a Jack Ass and I hope he loses his next election.

Thune on December 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Another Proud Moment in GOP Leadership History

workingclass artist on December 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

And these are the geniuses that think Romney would be the best choice as our standard bearer.

Chip on December 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

This is what happens when the Tea Party method is tried. Not so good in reality, is it? Nice job, folks. Nice job. Let me help wipe that egg off your faces.

NoStoppingUs on December 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

What are you smoking? And, so early in the morning… This is Republican leadership at its finest.

/ (Seriously, do I have to put the sarc tag on that one?)

Fallon on December 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Disgusting.Having said that why the vitriol towards the tea party?From my perspective the 2010 election was a call for fiscal responsibility. The new House members have tried to honor that “mandate” and look what happens.Could it have been handled better? You know it, but we need to keep in mind who we are dealing with here. The Democrats who will do anything to keep control and a media hell bent on the reelection of Obama.Hard obstacles to overcome, but we are going to have to find a way or it’s four more years of Obama…

sandee on December 23, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Sandee…it is a typical Libbie tactic…try to marginalize/ridicule (See Alinsky, esp. tactic 5) those you really fear. The more they declaim, the more powerful they make the group. The problem is that these libbies violate Alinsky #2 all the time. They don’t even understand their own tactics. They also seem enamored of any logical fallacy they can try to propagate.

It is also a tactic to deflect the conversation, since having an honest discourse isn’t something any libbie wants to engage in with someone. They can’t handle the emotional stress of being wrong and finally admitting it. That would fracture their emotional, insecure egos.

Don’t worry about libbies. Stick to discussing the topic at hand. Or expose their tactics so that others won’t fall for ‘em.

Next will come the ad-hominem … in 3…2…

ProfShadow on December 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Way-to-cave Speaker Weepy!

Mr Galt on December 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

the 60-day limit means that Obama has to make the Keystone decision by the time the extension expires.

Or what….

golfmann on December 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I don’t think Obama was shopping for Bo at Petsmart. Get your bone Boehner, good boy. Good little dog.

It is long past time for a new speaker.

JimboHoffa on December 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I vote for alan west to be our speaker of the house

LaurRose on December 23, 2011 at 11:20 AM

What I would leave in Boehner’s stocking this Christmas could be found on a lawn of a dog owner, and attract flies.

Dog poop for you Boehner!!!

portlandon on December 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Or what….

golfmann on December 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Or, or… They’ll give him another 60 day extension and add some more hidden regulations and entitlements to the next bill continuing to outspend our tax money and strangle our businesses. That’s what. And, don’t think they won’t do it. Don’t call their bluff!

Fallon on December 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

All this is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as it sinks.

Some measurable portion of the electorate is sufficiently dim witted enough to buy into the Democratic party’s cynical ploys and theater, otherwise their tactics would not work.

Maybe they will wake up and wise up when our noses are under water.

MessesWithTexas on December 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It’s time for some leadership in the House, Boehner ain’t it.

bflat879 on December 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

rbj on December 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

As I said, I get the frustration with Republican leadership. I’m not just blaming the media. But I do know from personal experience how very effective they are at spreading Democrat propaganda. I overhear conversations all day long at work where people are repeating the media talking points. The message is getting out to people like us that pay attention. The problem is that not enough people really pay attention and are extremely vulnerable to the propaganda.

I’m not defending Boehner and company, but I do understand the difficult task any Republican faces getting through the media filter and getting a message out to the rather large percentage of the population that is easily fooled.

hoofhearted on December 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Some measurable portion of the electorate GOP leadership is sufficiently dim witted enough to buy into the Democratic party’s cynical ploys and theater, otherwise their tactics would not work.

MessesWithTexas on December 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Sorry, it needed fixin’.

Fallon on December 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Boehner ain’t going nowhere… The Republican establishment is democrat lite, and Boehner is the posterchild for the slow road to ruin. Both sides are statists it’s just that one side is just dyed deeper shade of red thats all.
tictoc02660 on December 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Yup

……and Bohner is a drunk.

rickyricardo on December 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Our party has absolutely hurt their standings in caving to the whimpers and cries of Obama and the democratic party. The move is one of the most foolish ones, although somewhat understandable due to the onslaught of inner party attacks. Speaker Boehner should step down, and the other all out desperate fools of our party should stop their bitching and grow the heck up.

RiCkY.D. on December 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

My take.

kingsjester on December 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. This was / continues to be a huge missed oppertunity for republicans. They should have opposed a payroll tax cut from the beginning, and used this as a way to force the democrats in to a corner. By making the argument that you are defunding the seperate, lock-boxed trust fund that the democrats have vehemently proclaimed for years, the democrats look like the ones trying to starve grandma.
OR it forces the democrats to take the position that, yes, the “lockbox” is actually a file cabinent full of treasury bonds (ie: I.O.U.’s), and we’re drawing general revenue funds anyways (ie: issuing more treasury bonds), and thus cutting this tax is no different then cutting, say, the gasoline and diesel taxes, which would otherwise be much more beneficial to the economy.

Timin203 on December 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Merry Ho Ho

cmsinaz on December 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Yup

……and Bohner is a drunk.

rickyricardo on December 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

How very insightful of you. Don’t you have some bongos to go play.

VegasRick on December 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Maybe we should be giving thanks to Carl Rove for his advice to our weak party leaders, oh and let us not forget the influence of FOX, which seems to be leading our party more than the leaders we voted in.

RiCkY.D. on December 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Folks, the two-month tax holiday cannot be implemented without software upgrades made to existing systems.

joejm65 on December 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I’ve heard that, but I don’t understand why. The lower payroll tax rate has been in effect for a year now. What happened today was simply that the status quo was extended for another two months. What software upgrades do they need in order to keep doing what they have been doing?

Time Lord on December 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Obama proposed extending the payroll cut in Sept. Republicans had 4 months to come up with a plan of their own and sell it. They waited until late November to even introduce a bill. Why did they wait so long? The day after Obama’s speech they should have had a bill that extends the payroll cut for a year paid for by an equal amount in spending cuts elsewhere. Then every day have a press conference repeating the same easy to understand for the masses talking point: we want to cut your taxes, the Democrats do not.

That’s how you win a PR war. Not by sitting back and letting the other side set the narrative for 4 months.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Some seem to think the Keystone XL pipeline decision is a big deal. Get a clue! Obama will nix it in a NY minute. It will change nothing for his chances on re-election. The eco-wackos outnumber the constrution union members and the pipeline goes through Red states, that are hardly going for Obama anyway. And do you really think unions are going to bolt to the Pubbies over this???

Bob in VA on December 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Can we start talking about a return to federalism seriously now? We don’t need so much power concentrated in a body so inept and the only solution is for states to seize back their rightful powers.

Why do we tolerate so much unconstitutional behavior? Why have we bought into the premise of federal supremacy? The federal government is a construct of the states who only ceded limited authority to the federal government where they believed it was necessary to act collectively. They did not cede their independence.

Stop putting all your eggs in the federal basket and work to elect supporters of federalism to state government.

Charlemagne on December 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Republicans in the House, Senate, and WH have never learned how to play offense. They always set themselves up for failure. They come across as wimpy and whiny. McConnell and the Senate leadership have no use for conservatives. McConnell deliberately sets the House up to fail. As long as RINOS in the House and Senate are in control, they will do all they can to sabotage the tea party faction. They are doing all they can to get the RINO Romney elected. They did all they could to get McCain elected over conservative candidates. They have never supported a conservative POTUS candidate in the primary and never will. They have no use for Sen. DeMint or Rand Paul. They don’t like Allen West but are afraid of attacking him because he is one of the few black Pubs. in the house. However, if he gains any base of power which threatens them, they will Herman Cain him.

It’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past time for conservatives to abandon the Pub. party. They have long since abandoned us.

they lie on December 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I’ve heard that, but I don’t understand why. The lower payroll tax rate has been in effect for a year now. What happened today was simply that the status quo was extended for another two months. What software upgrades do they need in order to keep doing what they have been doing?

Time Lord on December 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

It’s not that simple. The 2 month extension has caps on “high income earners”. Basically someone making $500K a year can’t get the full 2% cut in those 2 months. So the software has to be adjusted to pro-rate the savings for the evil rich people. And as anyone who has ever worked with software design knows, even the simplest changes can take months to fully code, test and implement.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

How does this help accountants? At least arguing for a 3-month extension would have created less of an accounting nightmare.

This shows that Boehner can’t see the forest for the trees.

Exactly how are corporate accounts supposed to handle a payroll tax change that covers two-thirds of a quarter??!

This is legislative malpractice at its finest. No one has their eye on the ball.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The lsm giving the dems their victory lap

Just infuriating that we were forced to vote on harrys bill while he REJECTED the house passed bill altogether

I know. Water under the bridge but it just gets my goat what the dems get away with

cmsinaz on December 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

next thing you know the dems will be the 2nd amendment party, I mean how bad do you have to be to allow the libs to take credit for not raising taxes when all they do is raise taxes.

smitty41 on December 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I’ve heard that, but I don’t understand why. The lower payroll tax rate has been in effect for a year now. What happened today was simply that the status quo was extended for another two months. What software upgrades do they need in order to keep doing what they have been doing?

Time Lord on December 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Yeah, I also think that that sounds absolutely ridiculous. The change they are complaining about, I think, is that the amount with held cannot be increased in only 2 months without causing catastrophic things to their computers. But… The companies that do their own payroll can easily change the amount they with hold, and the large automated payroll places should have the technology to change the amount withheld fairly easily. Especially since these companies have the ability to withhold money for things other than taxes (ie: retirement accounts, medical insurance, paying off a bail bondsman, whatever). Either way, it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t remember them needing a year to implement the tax “cut” when obama put it in place, either.

Timin203 on December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

That’s how you win a PR war. Not by sitting back and letting the other side set the narrative for 4 months.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I think a more important aspect is why is Boehner allowing the WH to set the legislative agenda?

Boehner and Cantor should be pumping out bills that accomplish the conservative agenda. Take the initiative, assholes.

BobMbx on December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

tictoc02660 on December 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Exactly. Obama can kick these cans down the road for as long as he needs to for another win and continuation of his taxpayer funded party. The Democrats Lite will just keep assisting.
The Tea Party blaming comments are hilarious. Just goes to show you how absolutely stupid the public is and how we got the partier in the WH in the first place.

ORconservative on December 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM

The final compromise appears to tweak this a bit to make it less onerous for small business. But what were they thinking in the first place? What business operates two months at a time? The minimal time horizon for business is the quarter — three months. What genius came up with two? U.S. businesses would have to budget for two-thirds of a one-quarter tax-holiday extension. As if this government has not already heaped enough regulatory impediments and mindless uncertainties upon business.

Hey, Krauthammer just said exactly what I said. How about that?

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Whoopeeeee! The $40 windfall will put 3/4 of a tank of gas in my truck instead of a 1/4 tank.

For one week.

Speaker Boehner, I’m trying very hard to respect you sir, I really am, but…

And Senator McConnell, isn’t it about time you head on back to your “Old Kentucky Home”?

There’s very little risk that the conference committee will reverse that language, and the 60-day limit means that Obama has to make the Keystone decision by the time the extension expires.

And we all know how Obama and the Dems always keep their promises.

Flora Duh on December 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Then every day have a press conference repeating the same easy to understand for the masses talking point: we want to cut your taxes, the Democrats do not.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

And who will air these press conferences? CSPAN? Pravda won’t because it wouldn’t fit the narrative. And drones don’t watch CSPAN.

When you refer to the masses, you must remember you are talking about an electorate that elected the Marxist, empty suit sock puppet POS that currently pollutes The White House with 53% of the vote. The same media that so indoctrinated people enough for that to happen has no problem shooting down any Republican proposal and making it look evil. Look what they did to the Ryan Plan with the granny off the cliff nonsense.

hoofhearted on December 23, 2011 at 11:46 AM

…also, its time to repeal the 17th Amendment.

Sheerq on December 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I’m really not getting this whole meme that the Republicans gave Obama a victory painting him and the Senate Democrats as tax cutters. There was no doubt the House was in favor of this tax cut, they passed the first bill. The House was pushing for a one year deal while the Senate cut it to tow months. I really want to see how the Dems use that in a campaign ad when the Republicans can throw this in their face.

The fail was Boehnor not working with his caucus but going it alone with the weasel McConnell. That’s a congressional primary and leadership issue, not a democrat campaign issue.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Update: A couple of commenters say that the conference committee could reverse the Keystone language, but that would have to get Republican support; the conferees know that the House won’t pass a bill without it.

LOL, seriously? Even with the whiplash-inducing flipping that House Republicans just did on this 2 month extension, you *still* are so naive as to believe what you just wrote?

How cute.

Midas on December 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Forrest Gump Congress, stupid is stupid does.

DDay on December 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Sad to say, but the portion of the electorate who is dim-witted enough to buy into the Democratic ploys will never wise up. So I don’t think the Republicans should try to win them over. They should just accept that fact, and use their energy where it can actually accomplish something.

Paddington on December 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The fail was Boehnor not working with his caucus but going it alone with the weasel McConnell. That’s a congressional primary and leadership issue, not a democrat campaign issue.

AZfederalist on December 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

I can’t stand the way McConnell has let a POS like Reid run rings around him for years. I think our ongoing problems in fighting the Dems start with McConnell. Boehner’s not the greatest, but he’s been fighting with one hand tied behind his back. I would gladly sacrifice McConnell’s seat to the Dems, just to get him away from the controls.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Timin203 on December 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Again: It’s not the change from 4.2 to 6.2 or vice versa that is problematic. It’s figuring out how much to withhold for anyone making over $110,000 a year.

Example: Someone makes $300K a year. A 2% reduction is $6000 or $500 a month. That person would get $500 less deducted in month 1 and month. But the way the bill is written, that person can only have 1/6 of the $1000 not deducted. Sounds trivial, but it’s not. You can’t just tell a computer to do this. You have to design the changes, code it, test it, release it. And all along the way you have Sarbanes-Oxley paperwork to fill out and approve by layers upon layers of bureaucracy. Then once the software is tested and ready for release, you have to update the software for the millions of companies out there. This all takes time. You can’t just snap your fingers and make it happen. The only people who don’t get this are people who have never a) run a business or b) had a private sector job, in other words 95% of Democrats.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

NoStoppingUs on December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

You’re a f@#$ing idiot.

Midas on December 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

The deal is the real fix was set on December 17, 2010 in the waning days of Nancy’s control when they got the cut to SS in the first place. That earmark was not challenged or discussed until a week ago.

It is the GOPs fault that there has been no education on the issue and tells me leadership is either complacent or complicit. That democrats can achieve a massive cut in SS revenue and the GOP does the impossible by both supporting and opposing it and gets creamed is pretty stunning but while we’re sitting here thinking our legislators are dimwits the managed decline of our nation marches on unimpeded.

We need new leadership. This is not working.

DanMan on December 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

We need new leadership. This is not working.

DanMan on December 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Start by voting McConnell out. When he comes up from re-election, he needds to be primaried. If that fails, then Kentucky GOP voters need to vote for the Democrat. Ugly, but it will help unstick the problem.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Obviously, Captain Caveman believed the lies Obama told in his speech yesterday.
Blame the TEA party? None of the Republican leadership is TEA party, never has been, never will be.
Blame the media filter? We have no one strong enough to tell it like it is. Nobody pays attention to weiners unless they tweet their shortcomings to young girls.

ohiochili on December 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Great line from Krauthammer:

The GOP’s performance nicely reprises that scene in “Animal House” where the marching band turns into a blind alley and row after row of plumed morons plows into a brick wall, crumbling to the ground in an unceremonious heap.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

This is what happens when we send 85% (2010 election) of the same cretins back to congress. Everybody crowed about the near historic election turnover. Whoop de do we changed 15% and expected miracles. Who were the bigger fools those who voted for hope and change or those who thought voting in a small minority of conservatives was going to make any difference in D.C. culture?

chemman on December 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

What is that, about $80 bucks per person, if that? Peace of mind comes cheap nowadays…

Kraken on December 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Whoopeeeee! The $40 windfall will put 3/4 of a tank of gas in my truck instead of a 1/4 tank.

For one week.

Flora Duh on December 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM

The “tax holiday” is for 2%. For someone to “save” $40.00/wk, they must make $2000/wk. Based on the median income, “savings” are more like $12.00/wk.

To me, the problem is that the R’s have allowed the D’s to define the SS/Medicare deductions as a “payroll tax” when in reality they are mandated contributions for future benefits. That’s how they couch their argument that taxes aren’t fairly assessed.

NoNails on December 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

why does it have to McConnell? Does our side of the senate do what the dems do? Senioriy rules? If so change it to be like the house or reps. But I agree, for such a senior statesman who has done a pretty decent job in the minority under very hostile conditions McConnell should bear the most blame for this fiasco. My real rub with Boehner and other leaders is not addressing the issue before the last days of the year and not seeing the trap Nancy laid out last year.

DanMan on December 23, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Another Animal House line very applicable to Boehner/McConnell

Otter: Flounder, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You f***ed up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can help.

This is what the RNC tells conservatives every month or so. Hey sorry about that guys, you trusted us, we f**ed. But honestly, next time we’ll do better. Make sure you vote for us again.

angryed on December 23, 2011 at 12:04 PM

And hey, let’s admit it. We didn’t see it either. But we’re not paid $175k to manage the damn nation either.

DanMan on December 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM

why does it have to McConnell?

[snip]

DanMan on December 23, 2011 at 12:03 PM

It just seems to me that every time we have a train wreck like this, a Reid victory over McConnell is at the heart of it.

cane_loader on December 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM

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