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Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) answers reporters' questions during a brief news conference on the payroll tax vote outside his office at the U.S. Capitol December 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Congress is in disarray this morning over a deal to extend the payroll tax cut. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said Republican representatives will not pass the Senate's version of the bill that would have extended the cuts for two months.
Last week, the Republican-majority House agreed to a one-year extension, but tagged on spending cuts opposed by Democrats, including a pay freeze for federal workers and changes to Medicare for high-income recipients. The Senate deal found consensus by raising fees on government-backed home loans, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. It also included an expedited review of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was optimistic his party cronies would pass the deal, but there was either a miscommunication or miscalculation by Republican leadership. It's being reported the White House was blind-sided by the upset because Boehner had reportedly told them he had the votes. Lawmakers are being summoned back from their holidays in an attempt to bridge the divide.
What are the ins and outs of this failure? What do each of the parties want exactly?
Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer in the DC bureau covering Congress, Politics
Mark Standriff, Communications Director, California Republican Party
Michael Linden, Director for Tax and Budget Policy, Center for American Progress