StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

What Does It Mean For House Republicans To Be In "Full Revolt" On Payroll Tax Cut?

18 Dec 2011
Posted by Stan Collender

Politico reported this morning that the House GOP rank-and-file are in "full revolt" over the payroll tax cut bill the Senate passed yesterday and that the results of the Monday vote on it are in doubt.

The bill will pass the House as is if there is a straight up-or-down vote because the combination of a majority of Democrats plus a handful of Republicans will provide the necessary margin. This is the same formula that enabled other budget-related measures to be adopted this year when the GOP rank-and-file -- especially the first-termers -- were not happy with the legislation.

The question is whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will be allowed by his caucus to do that this time. If the House GOP's anger is as great as Politico says, Boehner may not have that freedom.  Instead, to appease his members, Boehner may need a floor procedure that leads to a conference and, therefore, further negotiations, with the Senate.

One thing to keep in mind is the continuing House GOP/tea party mindset that the only thing congressional Republicans did incorrectly during the negotiations with Bill Clinton over the two shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 was that they compromised too early and didn't get as good a deal as they could have gotten as a result. The specter of that situation has apparently haunted the House GOP all year and, as a result, every budget negotiation has gone down to the very last minute.

Because of this, the House Republican leadership may not be able to allow the up-and-down vote on the Senate-passed bill that it probably prefers tomorrow and may have to appear to be negotiating through the end of this week.


Wait, There's More: Boehner sais this morning that the House GOP will oppose the Senate-passed payroll tax extension. That still leaves some room for a coalition of House moderates and Democrats to pass the bill if it comes up for a vote, but it's not at all clear from his statement that Boehner will allow that vote to occur.

Out of touch GOP

If this doesn't convince the public that the GOP only cares about tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, I don't know what will.

Hey, It's a Twofer

Don't overlook the anti-Obama factor.

usual mess...

I do think it's mostly politics although it would be nice if Congress stayed around - for as long as it takes - and actually did some work. I'd also like to hear more public vetting re the pipeline that Obama nixed, and it's employment/economic and environmental realities. We need A LOT more discussion around Medicare aside from stopping the MD pay cut - now up to 27% unless Congress votes it down (after doing so and making these "automatic cuts" bigger each time). In fact there was something called a Medicare Funding Alert that automatically got triggered when components of Medicare had to have over 35% of funding from general taxation within 7 years - the alarm kept going off so they got rid of the clock. If the Senate doesn't stay around (again) and work to come up with something constructive, I think it redoubles on them. [And this all goes to show that Boehner's not in control of House Republicans].

I don't think they deserve to "go home."

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