Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Deal on Payroll Tax Holiday

The House of Representatives has declined to act on the payroll tax holiday bill passed in the Senate. A two month extension of the tax holiday is not a doable solution, according to the payroll processors.

In a letter to the the leaders of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees, the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, whose members serve 1.5 million employers and more than one-third of the private-sector workforce, wrote that the Senate's two-month extension allows "insufficient lead time" to institute changes by Feb. 29.

The group wrote that a shortened deadline could create "substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees."

Speaker of the House Boehner has appointed eight members of the Republican majority to sit on the conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate, as is the customary process.

From the Speaker's press release announcing the conference committee action:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today praised the House for seeking a full-year payroll tax cut extension to help families and small businesses by voting to move to a formal conference with the United States Senate. Boehner named eight House Republican negotiators to serve on the House-Senate conference committee, which is charged with resolving the differences between the House-passed one-year payroll tax relief extension and the Senate-passed two-month extension.

The House voted to extend payroll tax relief, and to extend and reform unemployment insurance, for a full year – as requested by the president. Senate Democrats voted to extend these programs for only two months – a proposal that non-partisan experts say will create substantial confusion and new costs for job creators,” said Speaker Boehner. “There’s no reason for millions of Americans to see their taxes go up or for Washington to make things harder on struggling small businesses. A formal House-Senate conference committee can resolve the differences between our year-long tax cut extension and Democrats’ short-term bill. We can avoid a needless tax hike on middle class families if Senate Democrats will work with us and appoint negotiators to extend the payroll tax cut for another year and help create new jobs.”

The following House Republicans were named by Speaker Boehner to serve on a formal House-Senate conference committee charged with completing work on a full-year payroll tax cut extension:

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX);Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI);Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC);Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY);Rep. Tom Price (R-GA);Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY);Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI);Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks about the action on the payroll tax holiday:

It is completely irresponsible that the Senate has adjourned for the holiday vacation and left this business undone, all the while blaming the House leadership for the failure of the two bodies coming together. The House and the Senate are equal bodies. Both have to work together.

The President is correct - this is not a game. He said "this shouldn't be politics as usual". True again. Unless, of course, it is the President himself doing the politics. The House voted to do what the President himself requested - a full year's extension of the payroll tax holiday.

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