Aug. 28, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Payroll Tax Holiday, Jobless Benefits Hang in the Balance

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Speaker John Boehner and other GOP House leaders are trying to piece together a legislative package that extends expiring measures such as jobless benefits and the payroll tax cut.

It’s unclear whether repatriation will be included in the final package, because some Republicans, including Boehner and Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (Mich.), want to incorporate it into a broader tax reform deal that could be brought up next year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also opposes it.

Regardless of what sweeteners are ultimately included to win over votes, the general consensus across the Capitol is that many of the expiring provisions, excluding tax extenders that can be retroactively applied, will be bundled into one large bill and sent from the House to the Senate.

Though the Senate has been holding dueling partisan votes on the payroll tax holiday extension, Congress is unlikely to move each provision separately, given the complicated politics of each issue and an ever-shrinking calendar.

“It will be impossible to do this piecemeal, and if anybody has the notion in the House that they can toss a bill at us and leave town, they’re sadly mistaken,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said today. “What we’ve got to do is get down to business — it’s payroll tax cut, it’s [unemployment insurance], it’s making certain we have a spending bill moving forward at this point.”

It’s also unlikely that a bill would go from the Senate to the House, though some aides suggested Democrats might try. But it would be difficult for Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster on any package that would likely die in the House.

Cantor warned Members today that they should be flexible with their schedules next weekend and prepare to be in town.

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