Deal Emerging on Payroll [UPDATE: Friday at 9:05AM]
If you read between the lines, you can see a deal emerging on the payroll tax kerfuffle. Here it is:
The House will pass a 3-month extension (very similar to the 2-month extension passed by the Senate). In turn, the Senate will pass that extension and agree to appoint conferees.
This morning, Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) floated the 3-month notion, and Speaker John Boehner followed up in a press conference talking about how businesses operate on a “quarterly basis.” At nearly the same time, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on the House to pass the two-month extension, and for Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) to appoint conferees. This is, essentially, the demand made by President Obama yesterday.
Expect it to happen next week, allowing both sides to head into the new year claiming victory. And in the meantime, Heritage Action will keep you up to date with all the details.
*** multiple updates after the break ***
UPDATE: Thursday, 12/22 @ 1:20 PM
Throughout the Washington lunch hour, rumors were swirling that Speaker Boehner would accept the deal laid out by President Obama (and mimicked by Senator McConnell). As it turns out, no deal was imminent and President Obama took to the podium once again to push for a deal, saying “we’ve also been doing everything we can” to come to an agreement. But his rhetoric didn’t mirror reality. According to the Washington Times, Speaker Boehner asked the President to “send members of his economic policy team up to Congress to find a way” to get a full year extension. President Obama declined; mean he is not doing “everything.” So, we’ll wait…
UPDATE: Thursday, 12/22 @ 4:30 PM
A deal seems to be in the works, and House Republicans will hold a conference call at 5 PM ESTtoday to discuss. Roll Call reports on numerous unnamed GOP aides clamoring for a solution. Politico reports deep dissatisfaction among House Republicans, aimed at their Senate counterparts. CBS’s White House correspondent Mark Knoller confirms “House now willing to vote on Senate’s 2 month payroll tax cut extension with fix in payroll accounting requirements.” Presumably, Senator Reid would then agree to conference.
UPDATE: Thursday, 12/22 @ 7:30 PM
The House is scheduled to pass the latest “compromise” bill tomorrow by unanimous consent. While unlikely, there have been unconfirmed reports that one or more members may return to Washington to object, thus forcing a full vote sometime next week. Text of the “compromise” can be found here.
UPDATE: Friday, 12/23 @ 9:05 AM
Politico has the details of yesterday evening’s conference call: Speaker Boehner made sure “the technology was in place to prevent rank-and-file lawmakers from voicing the kind of angry dissent that scuttled a Senate-passed payroll bill on Saturday.” Politico also notes that at least two freshman – Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) – have not ruled out returning to Washington to object to the “unanimous consent” agreement, which would be needed to pass the “compromise” in the House today.
UPDATE: Friday, 12/23 @ 4:00 PM
President Obama has signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, and numerous other measures.