John Boehner Caves To Republican Caucus, Now Says He Opposes Deal On Payroll Taxes

So much for the House Republicans reaching a deal on the extension of the payroll tax holiday and of unemployment benefits. Here's John Boehner caving to demands for more hostage taking by his caucus -- Boehner Says House G.O.P. Opposes Deal on
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So much for the House Republicans reaching a deal on the extension of the payroll tax holiday and of unemployment benefits. Here's John Boehner caving to demands for more hostage taking by his caucus -- Boehner Says House G.O.P. Opposes Deal on Payroll Tax:

A day after the Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation to extend a payroll tax cut for two months, House Republicans made clear Sunday that they would not support the measure.

Speaker John A. Boehner, who had urged his members on Saturday to support the bill, did an about-face on Sunday and said he and other House Republicans were opposed to the temporary extension, part of a $33 billion package of bills that the Senate passed Saturday by an 89-to-10 vote. In addition to extending the payroll tax cut for millions of American workers, the legislation also extends unemployment benefits and avoid cuts in payments to doctors who accept Medicare. The measure would be effective through February.

But in an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press’ on Sunday, Mr. Boehner said the two-month extension, would be “just kicking the can down the road.”

“It’s time to just stop, do our work, resolve the differences, and extend this for one year,” Mr. Boehner said. “How can you have tax policy for two months?”

Here's more from Steve Benen -- Republicans may yet kill middle-class tax cut:

The Hill reported that rank-and-file House Republicans “voiced extreme opposition” to the compromise.

This is what happens when American elect radical children to run a chamber of Congress.

Some House GOP leaders say they want an extension. A few rank-and-file House Republicans don’t want to be on the hook for a middle-class tax increase. If Boehner wanted to reach out to House Dems on this, he probably wouldn’t have much trouble pulling 218 votes together.

But that’s just not how the process works anymore. The Speaker isn’t calling the shots; he’s taking the orders. And as of yesterday, Boehner’s caucus told him this isn’t good enough.

The radicalized House GOP caucus doesn’t want a middle-class tax cut, and is only open to the possibility if they’re rewarded with a series of right-wing goodies. House Republicans said they’d demand an expedited Keystone decision, and Senate Republicans successfully negotiated that into the deal.

Now House Republicans are considering holding the deal hostage (again) to see what else they can get.

There were some sighs of relief yesterday morning, when it looked like we wouldn’t have to worry about the payroll issue again until February. That relief was clearly premature — one must never underestimate what the House GOP is capable of.

Transcript via NBC below the fold.

MR. GREGORY: Back home, another congressional showdown. The Senate has passed a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, but the measure is now facing strong opposition from some rank and file Republicans in the House, leaving final passage in doubt. That is where we begin this morning with our exclusive guest, the speaker of the House, John Boehner.

Mr. Speaker, welcome back.
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REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): David, good to be here.

MR. GREGORY: So what's going to happen?

REP. BOEHNER: Well, it's pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill. It's only for two months. You know, the president said we shouldn't go on vacation until we get our work done; and, frankly, House Republicans agree. We passed a one-year extension of the payroll tax credit, unemployment insurance with reforms, making sure that those doctors who treat Medicare patients are not going to see their reimbursements cut. We had a reasonable, responsible bill that we sent over to the Senate. And, you know, if you talk to employers, they talk about the uncertainty. How can you do tax policy for two months? So I've--we really do believe it's time for the Senate to, to, to work with the House to complete our business for the year. We've got two weeks to get this done. Let's do it the right way.

MR. GREGORY: So you're suggesting start over, make this a one-year extension. Should the Senate start from scratch?

REP. BOEHNER: No. What I'm suggesting is this, the House has passed its bill, now the Senate has passed its bill.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

REP. BOEHNER: And you know, under the Constitution, when we have these disagreements, there's a--could be a formal conference between the House and Senate to resolve our differences. But our members really do believe we ought to do our work. The president said we shouldn't be going on vacation without getting our work done. Let's get our work done, let's do this for a year. You know, earlier this week both the House and Senate, in a bipartisan, bicameral way, funded our government through September 30th. We did it in a regular process, regular order. And what would be a regular order here is a, is a formal conference between the House and Senate.

MR. GREGORY: But it's important to reiterate, as the speaker of the House, you are opposed to this Senate bill, to this compromise.

REP. BOEHNER: I believe that two months is, two months is just kicking the can down the road. The American people are tired of that. I think--frankly, I'm tired of it. On the House side, we've seen this kind of action before coming out of the Senate. It's time to just stop, do our work, resolve the differences, and extend this for one year.

MR. GREGORY: Well, but...

REP. BOEHNER: And remove the uncertainty.

MR. GREGORY: Resolving differences is about the hardest thing to do, it seems, in Washington, and it's been that way all year long. What do you give? Where do you compromise in order to get the votes to extend this for a year?

REP. BOEHNER: Oh, I think, if you look at the House-passed bill, we did everything the president asked for. We added a couple of policies that we believe would help create jobs in America, things like the Keystone Pipeline, pulling back some regulations on, on boilers. But we paid for this, offset it, with reasonable reductions in spending. Ninety percent of those reductions, frankly, the president agrees with. And so, we can, we can find common ground. It's just the usual, "Let's just punt. Kick the can down the road, we'll come back and do it later."

MR. GREGORY: So you won't accept kicking this off to February. You want to get it done now.

REP. BOEHNER: I think we should do it all right now.

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