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Clock Ticks Down on Dems’ Washington Games After House Acts on Jobs
Posted by Press Office on December 14, 2011 | comments
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Last night, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation, with bipartisan support, to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for Americans struggling in President Obama's economy.  In keeping with Republicans’ continued focus on job creation, the legislation includes sensible, bipartisan measures to help the private sector create jobs.  Unfortunately, with the clock ticking, the Democrats who run Washington have no cohesive plan or unified strategy for passing their own priorities, instead resorting to holding government funding hostage – a tactic senior Democrats are openly criticizing .  Even the linchpin of Democrats’ maneuvering – the president’s veto threat – is based on fictitious claims and lacks any mention of the Keystone energy project he explicitly said he would reject.  As Congressman Boehner said last night after the House vote, it’s time for the Senate to act.  

The Republican-Led House

Dems Who Run Washington

House GOP passes payroll tax bill, gains leverage on Senate Dems. … Republican leaders used the House vote to pressure the Senate and Obama, denouncing the president for threatening a veto on a bill that includes two central elements of his jobs plan — the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits.” (The Hill, 12/13/11) 

Republicans say the legislation will create thousands of new jobs, extend a payroll tax cut and offset the cost of that extension with spending cuts. ‘The President says that the American people 'can't wait' for jobs,’ House speaker John Boehner said before the vote.” (AFP, 12/13/11)

Republican-led House defies Obama on payroll tax.  The Republican-led House of Representatives defied a White House veto threat on Tuesday and passed a bill to expedite approval of the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas pipeline project.” (Reuters, 12/13/11)

“House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Measure With Republican Priorities” (Bloomberg, 12/13/11) 

“Defiant Republicans pushed legislation through the House Tuesday night that would keep alive Social Security payroll tax cuts for some 160 million Americans at President Barack Obama's request — but also would require construction of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that has sparked a White House veto threat.” (Associated Press, 12/13/11)

“Republicans charged that Reid was holding the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill ‘hostage’…” (The Hill, 12/13/11)

“Republicans felt emboldened by the victory” (POLITICO, 12/14/11) 

“Following the vote, Speaker John Boehner poked fun at the White House’s use of a prop countdown clock, which Democrats used to pressure Republicans on the payroll tax issue.  ‘The White House needs to update their clock because now it’s time for the Senate to act,’ the Ohio Republican told reporters.” (Roll Call, 12/13/11)


House passage was something of a setback for Senate Democrats who have sought to portray Republicans as uninterested in the plight of average workers.” (CQ, 12/13/11)

Some Democrats fear that the party erred by initially focusing exclusively on the Keystone pipeline — which divides their party… Now they’re fretting about items that just passed the House…” (POLITICO, 12/14/11) 

“Democrats Open Party to Flak With Payroll Tax Gambit. …they've made themselves vulnerable to the attack they've been using all year against Republicans: that they're holding the government hostage until they get what they want. …Even some Democrats were frustrated at the tactic. ‘Our bill is done, and it should go to the president immediately,’ said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)…” (Roll Call, 12/14/11) 

The White House is playing coy about exactly what Obama is doing to move the tax package across the finish line.  Senior administration officials won’t say whom Obama is talking to on the telephone…” (The Hill, 12/14/11)

“While Mr. Reid refused to back away from his party’s idea of paying for the payroll tax holiday with a surcharge on income over $1 million, it appeared that the idea was losing steam…” (The New York Times, 12/13/11)

“…[T]he fights over the smaller issues seemed to be providing cover for the larger strategic move, one that is dividing Democrats. … ‘I am not sure if that confers any great advantage,’ Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said of delaying the appropriations conference report.” (Roll Call, 12/14/11)

“Democrats in the Senate, who had been weighing proposing their own broad package … are now considering abandoning that move altogether.” (POLITICO, 12/14/11)

“President Obama has rejected linking the payroll tax issue to the approval of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline…But a formal veto threat from the White House on Tuesday did not mention the pipeline.” (The Washington Post, 12/13/11) 

Without spelling out a specific order of necessary steps, Carney made clear that Obama wants Congress to approve both a payroll tax plan and the broad government spending bill.” (CNN, 12/14/11)

 Click here to download the revised “countdown clock” calling on Senate Democrats to take immediate action, and learn more about the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act.

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