- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Sarah Palin’s online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- SWAT spends seven hours in standoff with empty home
House vote puts tax cut in limbo
Question of the Day
The House voted Tuesday to enter into negotiations over the payroll-tax cut, but the top Senate Democrat refused, leaving an impasse that threatens to increase taxes on 160 million workers and cut off unemployment benefits to millions of recipients.
House lawmakers’ 229-193 vote essentially leaves the tax cut in limbo. A bill extending the tax cut, unemployment compensation benefits and other year-end items has left the House, meaning the Senate must take the next step.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, called the House vote “unconscionable” and said he won’t take up the bill or enter into negotiations, leaving the two chambers with no clear path forward.
“Let’s not play brinksmanship,” President Obama pleaded from the White House in the afternoon.
What Mr. Obama is requesting, though, is no longer possible. With Tuesday’s vote, the House officially rejected the Senate amendment, requested a conference committee and sent the bill back to the upper chamber for action.
“We rejected the Senate bill, and we moved to go to conference. Under the rules of the Congress, that means the papers that were in our possession are on the way back to the United States Senate,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.
The House has passed a one-year extension of the 2 percentage point payroll-tax cut, along with a two-year extension of full payments to doctors who take Medicare patients, and another round of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. The bill also includes a provision directing the administration to make a final decision on building the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Senate couldn’t agree on a long-term measure and instead passed a two-month extension of all of those provisions while including the Keystone pipeline language.
In requesting a conference committee to hammer out differences, House Republicans said they are returning to a legislative tool that was commonly used until the past five years.
“I have been trying to negotiate a yearlong extension with Republicans for weeks, and I am happy to continue doing so as soon as the House of Representatives passes the bipartisan compromise to protect middle-class families, but not before then,” Mr. Reid said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- McConnell to Obama: Quit fundraising, start leading on border
- Harry Reid threatens to cancel weekends
- Boehner accuses Obama of 'legacy of lawlessness'
- Senate overcomes first filibuster of Obama's border-spending bill
- Obama vows veto of House border bill
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- GOP report sees ties between rich donors, green 'nonprofits'
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world