House Passes Payroll Tax Extension And Others

Of course, the Democrat controlled Senate has said they would kill it and Obama has said he will veto it. Before reading it, of course

(Washington Post) Prospects for a year-end congressional compromise on key tax and spending legislation grew more complicated Tuesday, as the Republican House passed a controversial version of a payroll tax cut extension despite a veto threat from the White House.

Approved on a vote of 234 to 193, the Republican tax bill would extend a one-year break in the payroll tax that is due to expire at the end of the month, setting the rate at 4.2 percent for the year instead of allowing it to revert to 6.2 percent. But it also would accelerate the construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast that the White House is determined to slow down.

Personally, I think they should have kept the lower 3.6% rate, but, I’m betting there is some negotiation in there, where the GOP controlled House will say “well, OK, we’ll lower it, you give us Keystone XL.”

To fund the tax cut, the measure would freeze pay for civilian federal workers for another year and reduce the government workforce.

It would extend benefits for the long-term unemployed but reform the unemployment insurance program to reduce the maximum time those out of work can receive benefits, from 99 weeks to 59 weeks. It also would allow states to require drug testing for benefits.

The measure would postpone scheduled cuts in Medicare re:­imbursement rates for doctors but pay for the “doc fix” by raising Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors and eliminating some funding for the federal health-care law.

This is a good compromise piece of legislation, but, we can’t call it “bipartisan”, since it doesn’t give Obama everything he wants and the GOP nothing.

That is unlikely to happen. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called the bill a “pointless partisan exercise” and characterized it as an ideological grab bag of Republican pet projects.

President Obama has rejected linking the payroll tax issue to the approval of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, and the State Department, which has is responsible for examining the environmental impact of the cross-border project, announced Monday that it would not be able to complete the proper reviews in 60 days, as required by the House bill.

But a formal veto threat from the White House on Tuesday did not mention the pipeline. Instead, it accused Republicans of cutting programs needed by middle-income workers to fund the tax reduction.

Democrats are stuck on the “we gotta raise taxes on the rich and that is the only way to pay for this” mantra, and are unwilling to compromise. If they can’t get their way 100%, they gnash their teeth and throw a fit like a 5 year old in a toy store who isn’t getting the toy they really want. Unfortunately, the GOP can’t just walk away like a parent, because the 90% liberal media will allow the Democrats to control the narrative and the GOP would be painted as the bad guys.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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