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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

House GOP buckle on payroll tax deal



House Speaker John Boehner today caved on his opposition to the Senate-approved payroll tax cut. Boehner did say the Senate agreed to appoint conference members to work out a longer term deal than the 2 months the Senate approved.

Reaction from Florida:

Sen. Bill Nelson: "After playing a needless and frustrating game of partisan politics, extremists in the House finally agreed to do the right thing and extend tax relief for 160 million Americans. Now we can get on with trying to solve some of the other challenges still facing our country.  And hopefully we'll see a few more things done in a bipartisan spirit."

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta: “A full-year extension of the payroll tax holiday would be far better than a two-month stop-gap.  However, as I said at the beginning of this debate, a two-month extension that prevents a tax hike, protects Medicare access, includes the Keystone Pipeline, and gives us time to work out additional spending cuts and reforms is preferable to continued gridlock that would lead to a tax increase for millions of Americans."

Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Brooksville: "House Republicans took a stand for what everybody acknowledged was the more responsible public policy position. We chose the responsible path, even though it wasn't the politically expedient path.  But instead of stepping up and doing the right thing, and calling on the Senate to work out a compromise with the House, the President decided to try to rack up political points by playing up the disagreement.  That's not leadership and it won't put Americans back to work.

"We've insisted on a change to the Senate's bill that will minimize the damage of a two-month extension to small businesses. Our amendment to the Senate bill will ensure that small businesses will not face extra and unnecessary tax compliance costs as they try to keep pace with policy changes coming out of Washington.  The Senate was gracious enough to agree to that change.  In addition, Harry Reid has agreed to appoint negotiators and the hard work of compromise will finally begin in earnest over the next few weeks.  It's about time. Putting Americans first should always be the priority. With this amendment, small businesses will be protected, as will millions of American families.

Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation: "I cannot support this, but it seems the politics of demagoguery have won over policy and principle with the concession to enact tax policy on two-month basis. This is a sad day for America and further evidences our continuing decline. Men and women of principle are become a dying breed in this Republic."

[Last modified: Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:57pm]


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