Senate Democrats

Senate GOP to House GOP: “You’re On Your Own”

“After defiantly rejecting a Senate compromise to extend a payroll tax break and jobless pay, Speaker John A. Boehner stood before the television cameras on Tuesday enveloped by scores of House Republicans. Even as a group, they seemed very much alone.”  [New York Times, 12/21/11]

Nevertheless, they may have just suffered the worst 24-hour news cycle since they captured the majority last November — including a pummeling from the conservative editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal and a raft of bad headlines nationwide.  [Politico, 12/21/11]



Sen. Lugar, House Shouldn’t Block Payroll Tax Cut, Passing it Best for the Country.  Lugar said, “That’s correct I’m very hopeful that will not occur, I am hopeful maybe without basis that the House of Representatives will pass the bill the Senate passed and they will do so tonight.  Speaker Boehner is under enormous pressure he’s obviously gotten a lot of feedback from many Republicans who say we just don’t like it. As a matter of fact, many Republicans would say we don’t really want the extension of the unemployment compensation or the rest of it any way, but I’m hopeful that our majority, Republicans and Democrats, today will proceed because it seems to me this is be for the country as well as for all the individuals who are affected.”  [MSNBC, 12/19/11]

Sen. Snowe Called for the House GOP to Back Two-Month Extension. “GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe: ‘what is paramount at this point is that this tax benefit for hardworking Americans not be allowed to lapse.’” [Politico, 12/19/11]

Sen. Collins Called for the House GOP to Back Two-Month Extension. “Sen. Collins: ‘I would much prefer a year-long extension … but at this point, we must act, as the Sen. has done, to prevent a tax increase’” [LA Times, 12/19/11]

Sen. Grassley Called for the House GOP to Back Two-Month Extension. “If it doesn’t pass the House today, there’s a chance the payroll tax holiday of two percentage points, which on an average family, that might be close to $1,000 a year more spending money, they may not have that spending money at least starting on January the first.” [Radio Iowa, 12/20/11]

Sen. Wicker “Surprised The House Isn’t Willing” to Take Two-Month Extension. “I’m surprised the House isn’t willing to take a two month time out to do something more lasting. It’s a fairly reasonable price for a large program that will add 130,000 jobs through the Keystone Pipeline.” [Desoto Times, 12/20/11]

Sen. McCain Said Failure to Extend the Payroll-Tax Cut Compromise is “Harming the Republican Party” “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the failure of the House to approve the bipartisan Senate bill to extend the payroll-tax cut is ‘harming the Republican Party.’ Speaking Tuesday on CNN’s ‘Situation Room,’ McCain said that while it’s inevitable that the tax cut will ultimately be extended, the infighting reflects poorly on Republicans and Congress as a whole. ‘It is harming the Republican Party. It is harming the view, if it’s possible anymore, of the American people about Congress,’ McCain said. ‘We’ve got to get this resolved and with the realization that the payroll-tax cut must remain in effect.’” [The Hill, 12/20/11]

Sen. McCain: GOP At Political Disadvantage, Get it Done Quickly.  McCain said,  “I don’t think there is any doubt that the president and the democrats have a political advantage here. I hope we can right the ship, I hope we can get it done quickly and, again, I just mentioned one exit path and there is bound to be others but no doubt this hurts the republican party and that bothers me a great deal, as a Republican.”  [CBS, 12/22/11]

Sen. Corker Said “There’s No Question” Republicans are “Getting Killed in Public Opinion,” Should Just Approve Senate Compromise Language and Move On.   “Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that Republicans are losing the public relations battle over a payroll tax cut extension and should just approve the Senate’s compromise legislation and move on.  ‘Are Republicans getting killed now in public opinion? There’s no question,’ Corker said Wednesday on CNBC.  ‘Both Republicans and Democrats have agreed that this is going to happen and probably the best thing to happen now is just to get it over with — one more policy blunder— but just get it over with and move on because now it’s been framed as a tax increase which it’s not,’ he said.” [The Hill, 12/21/11]

Sen. Portman Said “Let’s Do Two Months and Get This Done.” Portman said,  “A yearlong would be better, no question about it. If we could find the will to find those spending reductions to pay for it I’d be all for that, but if we can’t let’s at least do the two months and get this done.”  [Fox 19, 12/21/11]

Sen. Heller: No Reason To Hold Up Short-Term Payroll Tax Cut Extension.  “There is no question we need to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for the entire year,” Heller said in a statement. “The American people deserve long-term, forward-thinking policies. However, there is no reason to hold up the short-term extension while a more comprehensive deal is being worked out.”  [Heller Statement, 12/19/11]

Sen. Brown “Blasts House For Jeopardizing Tax Relief, Unemployment Benefits.”  Brown said in a statement,  “The House Republicans’ plan to scuttle the deal to help middle-class families is irresponsible and wrong. I appreciate their effort to extend these measures for a full year, but a two-month extension is a good deal when it means we avoid jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of American families. The refusal to compromise now threatens to increase taxes on hard-working Americans and stop unemployment benefits for those out of work. During this time of divided government, both parties need to be reasonable and come to the negotiating table in good faith. We cannot allow rigid partisan ideology and unwillingness to compromise stand in the way of working together for the good of the American people.”  [Brown Release, 12/19/11]


Senate GOP Worries Tax Standoff Could Cost Them Upper Chamber.  “‘It’s not helping,’ a veteran Senate Republican strategist said of the House GOP fight against the Senate package. ‘Senate Republicans are tired of paying the price for the lack of legislative thoughtfulness in the House.’”  [The Hill, 12/22/11]

Senate Republican Aide: “The House Has Zero Leverage” “A senior Senate Republican aide I spoke to this morning said the sentiment among some Senate Republican aides is that the House holds no leverage at all. And he suggested a very interesting endgame in this fight for Dems. ‘The House has zero leverage,’ this Senate GOP aide says. ‘If I’m Schumer or Reid, what I’d do is let it expire and force the House to come back the next day and pass it.” [Washington Post, 12/20/11]

Senior Senate Republican Aide Called House GOP Move “A Colossal Fumble” “‘This is a colossal fumble by the House Republicans,’ said a senior Senate GOP aide, requesting anonymity to speak candidly about his own party. ‘Their inability to recognize a win is costing our party our long-held advantage on the key issue of tax relief. It’s time for Boehner and [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor to look these rookies in the eye and explain how the game is won or lost.’” [Politico, 12/21/11]

Politico: “Republican Insiders” Say McConnell Would Not Have Agreed to Two Month Extension Without Boehner’s Support. “Republican insiders said McConnell would never have accepted the two-month extension had he believed it would cause a full-fledged revolt among House Republicans.” [Politico, 12/21/11]

Senate GOP Leadership Aide: House Republicans “Have Painted Themselves Into a Corner,” “On Their Own,” “Inexcusable” “Lose-Lose Situation” “The House Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They are on their own,” a Senate GOP leadership aide told CNN. ‘This is a lose – lose situation for us. They’ve let the Democrats get the messaging advantage and more specifically we’ve turned one of our key issues on its head. The Republicans look like they are the ones blocking tax relief,’ said the Senate GOP leadership aide, who also called it “inexcusable.’” [CNN, 12/21/11]

Senate GOP Leadership Aide: House Republicans “Pulled Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory” ‘The House Republicans pulled defeat from the jaws of victory,’ said the senior GOP Senate aide.” [CNN, 12/21/11]


Rep. Charlie Dent Said Republicans May Need to Agree to Two Month Extension.  “Rep. Charlie Dent (R.,Pa.) said that ‘if we can’t get the Senate sign-off on a one-year extension soon—in the next few days—we’re going to have to move quickly to extend the payroll tax for a duration of time less than a year,’ said Mr. Dent. ‘That may end up being two months.’” [WSJ, 12/22/11]

Rep. Tim Johnson: “My Republican Colleagues Are Flat-Out Wrong.” “On this issue, my Republican colleagues are flat-out wrong,” Johnson said. “For reasons that are totally beyond my comprehension, House Republicans turned down what I thought was a reasonable compromise.” [State Journal-Register, 12/22/11]

Rep. Chris Gibson Supports Two-Month Extension. “As we pursue that, I also plan to support the two-month stopgap to ensure our constituents do not face a tax increase.” [Albany Times Union, 12/19/11]


WSJ Editorial: The GOP’s Payroll Tax Fiasco.  “GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest… At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly.” [Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 12/21/11]

Rove: Republicans Should Fold in Payroll Tax Cut Standoff.  “Former Bush adviser Karl Rove said he agreed with the Wall Street Journal’s blistering assessment on the failure of House Republican leadership in the payroll-tax debate, and conceded that Republicans have ‘lost the optics’ and should fold on the issue.  ‘I think the Wall Street Journal editorial hit it right on the nail, the question now is how do Republicans get out of it,’ Rove told Fox News on Wednesday.”  [The Hill, 12/21/11]

Gingrich to House GOP: Give In on Payroll Tax.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who famously lost budget battles to President Bill Clinton amid two government shutdowns, had some advice to House Republicans at loggerheads with another Democratic president: Give in.  “Incumbent presidents have enormous advantages. And I think what Republicans ought to do is what’s right for America. They ought to do it calmly and pleasantly and happily,” Mr. Gingrich said when asked about the clash between President Barack Obama and House Republicans over extension of the payroll tax cut.  [Wall Street Journal, 12/21/11]

Charles Krauthammer Republicans Have Walked Into A Blind Alley, Need to Flinch and Pass the Bill.  Krauthammer said,   “Republicans in the House walked into a blind alley and there is no way out.  They have to pass this, in the end you can’t come to January 1, and have the payroll tax rise have the doc fix not in place, which would mean the hospitals and doctors  will have a 27 percent cut in the reimbursement, and have a cut off the unemployment insurance.  It can’t happen.  The Republicans who have handed the initiative over to the president, and the Senate Democrats who have said we’re done, we had a big bill that passed with overwhelming Republican support and it’s now a compromise.  In the end, republicans have to flinch on this.”  [Fox News, 12/21/11]