Congress Still in Session
Early Saturday morning, most of the Washington Establishment assumed the Senate’s 2-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and “doc-fix” would be good enough – everyone could go home and not worry about things until January. But, as is often the case, the prevailing wisdom in Washington turned out to be wrong.
There has been a lot of spin – on both sides – about who wins politically on a two-month extension. We’ll ignore it all for the time being and just give you the play-by-play.
On Saturday morning, the Senate passed a 2-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and “doc-fix”, and a process for an expedited decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Reuters noted that a stopgap measure would set up “fresh battles for 2012.”
That afternoon, on a conference call with House Republicans, it became clear to House GOP leaders that their conference was wholly unsupportive of the 2-month approach. On CBS’s Face the Nation, Speaker Boehner publicly rejected the stopgap approach, saying it could not pass the House.
It now appears the House will vote on the Senate bill, which is expected to fail. Then, they will move to conference the House-passed and Senate-passed bills, in an effort to resolve the differences. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) spokesman made clear the Senate has no intent on returning.
Heritage Action will stay tuned to every twist and turn, and keep you up to date. In the mean time, tell us what you think Congress should do on the payroll tax.