The editorial in today’s paper stated that Republicans actually scored a win with the inclusion of language to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline, “But now Republicans are drowning out that victory in the sounds of their circular firing squad. Already four GOP Senators have rejected the House position, and the political rout will only get worse.”
Democrats are seizing on Republicans’ previous hesitation to extend the payroll tax cut holiday.
Rep. Tom Reed, a freshman Republican whom Boehner appointed to the conference committee, acknowledged the GOP would prefer tax cuts to come elsewhere.
“If I had my choice, I would love to see us take care of this relief on middle class Americans, taxpayers, through income tax reduction, but the president and the Senate are adamant that this has to be done with a Social Security tax reduction and if that’s where they are, we’re willing to meet them there,” the New Yorker said. “I have concern about the Social Security trust fund, but overall, if the Senate and the president want to agree with me and the Republicans that lowering the tax burden on all Americans is good economic policy. ... I agree with that, so I’m willing to find common ground, and if it means we find it on the payroll tax holiday, then I’ll stand with them.”
After their failed attempt to bring the Senate’s two-month extension to the floor, Hoyer and Van Hollen blasted Republicans saying that Reed and others on the House GOP negotiating team are disingenuous in their calls to extend the payroll tax holiday.
Hoyer dismissed Boehner’s calls for a conference committee altogether, noting that “the irony is that the Speaker has appointed five [Members] ... all of whom have said at one point or another they oppose” an extension of the payroll tax cut.
Van Hollen was equally harsh, charging that “the Speaker of the House and Republican leadership were AWOL on the House floor today. ... It’s a real tragedy that the House Republican leadership didn’t show up on the House floor today.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.