House Republicans Give In on the Payroll Tax
House Republicans have reversed course and agreed to pass the payroll tax cut extension for two more months under pressure from the Senate and the White House, reports National Journal, citing "Republican and Democratic sources."
Update 5:50 p.m.: And President Obama has weighed in to congratulate Congress for, well, doing what he told them to do this morning. "This is good news, just in time for the holidays..." he said in a statement. "And I want to thank every American who raised your voice to remind folks in this town what this debate was all about. It was about you." Mele Kalikimaka, Mr. President.
Update 5:35 p.m. Boehner gave a press conference Thursday evening reiterating his office's statement (which reiterated this afternoon's reports) that the House would pass the Senate's two month extension on the payroll tax cut with a couple small modifications. He also reiterated his party's hope to peg a one year extension to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport natural gas from Canada. So, don't expect an easy compromise for the year long extension in a few months. Asked if House Republicans had "caved," he didn't answer an explicit yes or no but said the standoff "may not have been politically the smartest thing in the world but I tell you what, I think our members waged a good fight able to come to an agreement, and we were able to fix what came out of the Senate." Translation: Yeah, sort of.
Update 5:15 p.m.: Speaker Boehner's office has released a statement pretty much confirming what GOP staffers told reporters earlier this afternoon about the details of a compromise. You can read it here.
House Republicans have reversed course and agreed to pass the payroll tax cut extension for two more months, reports National Journal, citing "Republican and Democratic sources." It comes after first Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and then President Obama reiterated today that the House ought to pass the temporary compromise before starting to negotiate on a full-year extension of the 2 percent cut, which is currently set to expire January 1. House Speaker John Boehner originally rejected McConnell's request, saying he'd prefer to work out a deal on the full-year extension now. (Most of the Senate went home, you'll recall, foolishly assuming the House would just pass the bill they'd sent them.) The deal, as its being reported, isn't all give no take (just mostly.) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reportedly agreed to appoint negotiators to settle on a compromise for the one year extension as per Boehner's request throughout the standoff. CNN reports the House Republicans will hold a conference today at 5 p.m., and we should hear more about the compromise then.