Ed Schultz spoke to Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Jonathan Alter about the tentative deal to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance. When asked why it appears Republicans are finally giving in and willing to pass the measures without demanding offsets, both Schakowsky and Alter noted the obvious; they're looking at their poll numbers and hearing from their constituents and responding to the fact that the electorate is fed up with their obstruction.
House-Senate talks on renewing a payroll tax cut that delivers about $20 a week to the average worker yielded a tentative agreement Tuesday, with lawmakers hopeful of unveiling the pact Wednesday and sending the measure to President Barack Obama as early as this week.
Under the outlines of the emerging agreement, a 2 percentage-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax would be extended through the end of the year, with the nearly $100 billion cost added to the deficit. Jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed would be renewed as well, with the $30 billion or so cost paid for in part through auctioning broadcast spectrum to wireless companies and requiring federal workers to contribute more toward their pensions.
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, said it was described to lawmakers as a tentative agreement.
The payroll tax cut and renewing jobless benefits were key planks in Obama's jobs program, which was announced in September. The payroll tax cut benefits 160 million Americans and delivers a tax cut of about $20 a week for a typical worker making $50,000 a year. People making a $100,000 salary would get a $2,000 tax cut.
The deal would not only be a win for Obama but would take the payroll tax fight — which put Republicans on the defensive — off the table for the fall election campaign. Read on...