Grassley, a former chairman of the Finance panel, said in an interview that he suspected GOP Senators would not play games with the measure on the floor if Schumer and the Democrats did not attempt to attach other tax provisions, including those from the 2009 economic recovery law championed by President Barack Obama.
“I think we will not do that if he doesn’t try to do things that were in the stimulus bill that he’s not satisfied is in this chairman’s mark,” Grassley said. “Obviously, if he wants to bring up stuff that he likes, we ought to have the same privilege.”
Even if the measure gets through the Senate in September, House leaders said they are in no hurry to move on a competing raft of tax extenders. Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), who chairs the Ways and Means subcommittee with jurisdiction over the issue, said the House will not extend the measures until after the elections.
“Chairman [Dave] Camp’s [R-Mich.] goal has been to have a package after the election, and that’s what we’re working toward,” he said. “Rather than what they’ve done, extending them en masse, we want to go through a process by which we try to separate extenders on merit.”
The committee is reviewing each extender individually, he said.
Chief Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam, who also sits on the Ways and Means Committee, said the House is more immediately concerned with extending the George W. Bush-era tax rates and laying out principles for tax reform.
When the time comes to consider the extenders, though, he was optimistic about being able to sell the issue to the Republican Conference as long as the promise of tax reform remains.
“If you use these as a bridge ultimately to tax reform, that’s something that makes sense for our Members,” the Illinois Republican said. “If it’s something that’s done just for the sake of doing it, it’s not as compelling.”
A senior Democratic aide was angry over the delay.
“Sen. Coburn is throwing another one of his fits, acting a lot like my 6-year-old son when he doesn’t get his way,” a senior Democratic aide said. “We can’t let vital tax cuts that have bipartisan support — and will provide a big boost to America’s working families and our economy — fall victim to these juvenile antics.”
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.