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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) hold a brief news conference after a House GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol December 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Boehner said he expects the House to reject a short-term plan to extend the tax cuts for another two months that passe the Senate last week.
This morning the House voted not-to vote on the payroll tax cut extension.
In a procedural maneuver to avoid House members from having to actually cast a politically unpopular vote, they voted instead to “reject” the Senate-passed two-month payroll tax extension and demand a House-Senate conference to hammer out differences between the chambers on a tax break that is set to expire at the end of this year. With no action, the current federal payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits will expire on December 31st, 2011, leaving 160 million Americans with a tax increase while about 2.2 million long-term unemployed will lose benefits. Formal negotiations regarding the bill are expected to take place between the House and the Senate, but the logistics of such talks will be complicated as the Senate has already adjourned for the year.
With approval ratings already at record lows, what is the next step for Congress? Was White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer correct when he tweeted that "the shenanigans of the last 48 hours from the House GOP leadership are why 43% of Americans think this is the worst Congress in history”?
Rep. Karen Bass, (D – Los Angeles), member of the House Budget Committee
Russell Berman, staff writer, The Hill; he’s joining us from Capitol Hill