In a statement today, President Obama told John Boehner and the House Republicans that their only option is pass the Senate bill extending the payroll tax cut for two months.
Here’s the video from MSNBC:
The President said,
Now, on Saturday, we reached a bipartisan compromise that would do just that — make sure that people aren’t seeing a tax cut the first of the year; make sure that they still have unemployment insurance the first of the year. Nearly every Democrat in the Senate voted for that compromise. Nearly every Republican in the Senate voted for that compromise. Democrats and even some Republicans in the House voted for that compromise. I am ready to sign that compromise into law the second it lands on my desk.
So far, the only reason it hasn’t landed on my desk — the only reason — is because a faction of House Republicans have refused to support this compromise.
Now, if you’re a family making about $50,000 a year, this is a tax cut that amounts to about $1,000 a year. That’s about 40 bucks out of every paycheck. It may be that there’s some folks in the House who refuse to vote for this compromise because they don’t think that 40 bucks is a lot of money. But anyone who knows what it’s like to stretch a budget knows that at the end of the week, or the end of the month, $40 can make all the difference in the world.
After sharing some personal stories about how much an extra $40 a paycheck means to working Americans, Obama sent a message to John Boehner and the Republicans in the House,
What’s happening right now is exactly why people just get so frustrated with Washington. This is it; this is exactly why people get so frustrated with Washington. This isn’t a typical Democratic-versus-Republican issue. This is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. How can we not get that done? I mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can’t do it? It doesn’t make any sense.
So, enough is enough. The people standing with me today can’t afford any more games. They can’t afford to lose $1,000 because of some ridiculous Washington standoff. The House needs to pass a short-term version of this compromise, and then we should negotiate an agreement as quickly as possible to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for the rest of 2012. It’s the right thing to do for the economy, and it’s, most importantly, the right thing to do for American families all across the country.
This is not just my view. Just a few hours ago, this is exactly what the Republican Leader of the Senate said we should do. Democrats agree with the Republican Leader of the Senate. We should go ahead and get this done. This should not be hard. We all agree it should happen. I believe it’s going to happen sooner or later. Why not make it sooner, rather than later? Let’s give the American people — the people who sent us here — the kind of leadership they deserve.
As soon as Mitch McConnell sided with Obama and the Democrats on the two month payroll tax extension, John Boehner and the House GOP were sunk. McConnell’s offered compromise really isn’t a compromise at all. The Republican Senate leader suggested after the House passes the two month extension, Harry Reid should appoint conferees so that the House and Senate can negotiate a yearlong extension. McConnell offered the same way out to Boehner that Obama and Reid have already suggested.
There is only one way out of this for the House Republicans. They must pass the Senate’s bill Often it has been discussed how the House Republicans have taken hostages and ransomed the White House on various issues, but what is often overlooked is that in each of these situations the Senate was also taken hostage.
McConnell could have easily sided with Boehner on the payroll tax cut extension, but his actions suggest that he too is tired of the games.
It is almost as if the big brother (the Senate) is siding with Dad (Obama) to put an end to little brother’s (GOP House) bad behavior and temper tantrums. Both the Senate and the White House have grown tired of the dysfunctional antics of the Boehner led majority. They have decided that this stops here and now.
In his remarks today, President Obama took the tone of a father reprimanding an unruly child. His message to the GOP led House was enough is enough. It is time to grow up and start behaving like an adult. We aren’t going to put up with your antics anymore.
The House is not going to be able to tantrum and ransom the rest of the government into getting their own way this time.
John Boehner’s only choice remains between passing the Senate bill, or facing the political consequences of raising taxes on 160 million Americans, throwing two million Americans off unemployment insurance, and harming the health care of nearly 50 million American seniors.
The House tea partiers and Boehner gambled and lost. All that remains to be seen is whether or not Republicans in the House have the good sense to walk away before they lose everything.