Senate Democrats

Papers Across the Country Agree: House GOP Brinkmanship Risks Jan. 1st Tax Hike on Middle Class

Newspapers On House GOP: “Disingenuous,” “Hypocritical,” Offering Taxpayers “A Lump Of Coal,” and are “Playing A Dangerous Game Of Brinksmanship”

The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Denver Post Editorial: House Republicans “Disingenuous” Rejection of Payroll Tax Cut Extension. “as if to explain the reason for the poll numbers, House Republicans have just blocked a bipartisan Senate bill that would have extended the payroll tax cut for two months and allowed millions to keep receiving extended unemployment benefits. … House Republicans say they rejected the Senate bill, which was passed 89-10, because it didn’t extend the payroll cut for a full 12 months. This is, to put it mildly, disingenuous.” [Denver Post, 12/21/11]

Visalia Times Delta Editorial: House Makes A Vote For Humbug “Republicans in the House of Representatives on Tuesday preferred to play politics and goad the president rather than provide some tax relief to middle-class Americans. … The bottom line is that Republicans — especially the most conservative, tea-party Republicans — say they support lower taxes. But when they have an opportunity to offer tax relief, they renege. While House Republicans say they support a year’s worth of tax cuts and are holding out for the full pie, there is no guarantee that they will agree when dragged to the negotiating table.” [Visalia Times-Delta, 12/21/11]

Tulsa World Editorial: Taxpayers Get A Lump Of Coal From House. “Tuesday the House, led by the tea party faction, rejected a plan backed by Senate Republicans and President Obama that would have extended the payroll tax deduction by two months to give Congress the time to discuss renewing the cuts for a full year. Republicans in the House now claim that they want to give taxpayers the break for a full year. But that is disingenuous. An earlier version of the payroll tax extension for a year was loaded up with all sorts of budget-cutting proposals that all but guaranteed a veto by Obama.” [Tulsa World, 12/21/11]

Charleston Gazette Editorial: Tax Hike: GOP Hypocrisy. “Most Republicans in Congress signed Grover Norquist’s pledge vowing never to vote for a tax increase — yet, bizarrely, House Republicans took a step Tuesday that may inflict a $1,000 tax increase on 160 million Americans. The action showed that GOP leaders care only about tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, not for middle-class U.S. families.” [Charleston Gazette, 12/21/11]

Las Vegas Sun Editorial: Americans Face Higher Taxes Because Of Republican Obstruction. “As if Americans haven’t seen enough dysfunction in Washington, House Republicans engineered a masterpiece Tuesday to round out the year. They rejected a bipartisan Senate plan that would have extended payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits for two months, giving lawmakers time to work out a longer-term deal. House Republicans’ refusal was purportedly because they didn’t want to ‘kick the can down the road’ and instead wanted a year-long deal. The reality is that they are using the measure to try to gain political leverage. They have tied the extension of cuts and benefits to several major policy issues that have met with strong opposition.” [Las Vegas Sun, 12/21/11]

Westchester Journal News Editorial: House GOP “Taken Fresh Aim At the US Economy” “The latest disappointment stems from obstructionist Republicans, who have thoroughly gummed up the works in the House of Representatives, which is led by Speaker John Boehner and controlled by the GOP, at least in theory. They have taken fresh aim at the U.S. economy, and the wallets of 160 million working Americans. Both are under siege.” [Westchester Journal News, 12/21/11]

Salt Lake Tribune Editorial: If Your Takes Go Up, “You Can Blame the House Republicans” “it seems increasingly likely that this tax cut, the one that provides the most benefit to struggling families and has the greatest potential to light at least a small fire under the limping economy, may be about to die. And the reason for that is that many members of Congress are holding the tax measure hostage to unrelated arguments over issues that ought not even be part of this debate. … Watch your pay stubs. If your FICA tax bite goes up next month, you can blame the House Republicans, including Jason Chaffetz.” [Salt Lake Tribune, 12/21/11]

Eugene Register-Guard Editorial: Republicans In The House Should OK A Short-Term Deal “Just when you thought congressional approval ratings couldn’t sink any lower, federal lawmakers came through with a move Tuesday sure to disgust and alienate even more Americans: House Republicans rejected a bipartisan compromise approved earlier by the Senate that would have extended the payroll tax cut for most U.S. workers for two months beyond the end of the year and allowed millions of unemployed people to continue receiving jobless benefits.” [Eugene Register-Guard, 12/21/11]

Harrisburg Patriot-News Editorial: House GOP “Willing To Play Brinksmanship Or Hit Half Of America With A Tax Increase.”  “The art of legislation is to push your principles as far as you can while the other party pushes theirs. In the end, you get some — if not all — of what you want, and make certain it doesn’t violate your core values. In this case, House Republicans got nearly everything they want. They simply didn’t get it for as long as they want. And for this, they are willing to play brinkmanship or hit half of America with a tax increase.” [Patriot News, 12/21/11]

Youngstown Vindicator Editorial: Boehner Faces “Hard Sell” If Payroll Taxes Increase. “Boehner can reject the two-month compromise, but blaming it on Democrats is going to be a hard sell when everyone starts paying higher Social Security withholding taxes in January. And, because of another section of the bill, hundreds of thousands of people in most states will see their unemployment benefits end. And while questions remain about how much of their tax breaks the wealthy have been pouring into job creation, there is no question that middle class taxpayers and unemployed workers pour their windfalls right back into the economy. The money they spend on food, shelter, transportation and clothing goes into the pockets of small businesses and other working men and women throughout the economy. Boehner might want to think about that if he intends to head home to Dayton for Christmas without accepting the Senate compromise.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 12/19/11]

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Boehner’s Brinksmanship “It’s only fitting that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) would close the year with one more act of brinksmanship. Boehner announced Sunday that he opposed the bipartisan deal in the Senate on a stopgap extension of soon-to-expire payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and Medicare payment rates for physicians — a deal that he reportedly urged his caucus to accept, only to have other members of his leadership team oppose it. The Senate proposal was far from perfect, but it gave the House GOP a clear win on what supposedly was its top priority: the Keystone XL pipeline project. By not accepting the deal, House Republicans show again that they’re unable or unwilling to stop moving the goal posts.” [LA Times, 12/21/11]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial: House Republicans Earn An Extra Large Lump Of Coal “By refusing to go along with a bipartisan compromise that included building an oil pipeline that Republicans favor, Boehner and the GOP members of the House are playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship. Without the Senate deal, the payroll tax cut ends Jan. 1 for 160 million Americans, and their taxes go up an average of $1,000 for the year in 2012. At the same time, unemployment benefits could end for many more and reimbursement for doctors who treat Medicare patients would be cut.” [Journal Sentinel, 12/21/11]

Albany Times Union Editorial: What’s Wrong With The GOP? “THE ISSUE: House Republicans block a deal to keep lower payroll taxes and extended jobless aid in place. THE STAKES: Let them run for re-election as the people who raised taxes. So the days dwindle in a political year that seems destined to end much the way it began. Congress is at loggerheads, unable to agree on how to continue a temporary Social Security tax reduction for some 160 million workers and extend unemployment benefits for about 2 million people. You can blame the Republicans, mostly, for that.” [Times Union, 12/21/11]