House Republicans suffered a humiliating defeat today as they caved to pressure from President Obama and agreed to pass the two month extension of the payroll tax cut.
According to National Journal:
House Republicans on Thursday crumpled under the weight of White House and public pressure and have agreed to pass a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal.
The House made the move after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., agreed to appoint conferees to a committee to resolve differences between the Senate’s two-month, 2 percentage point, payroll-tax cut and the House’s one-year alternative.
Obama stood tall, and the tea party’s latest hostage taking turned into a public relations disaster. The confrontation that occurred over the past few days has been weeks in the making. Nine days ago, the President threatened to veto the House payroll tax extension. Obama has been saying from the beginning that he wouldn’t sign the House bill. The best that Senate Republicans were able to get out of the White House was a moved up timeframe for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.
After House Republicans refused to vote on the Senate approved payroll tax extension, the pressure on John Boehner and the House GOP has been relentless. Yesterday, Obama called Speaker Boehner and made it clear that there would be no negotiations on the payroll tax cut extension. Today, Obama held an event where he told Boehner and the Republicans that not only must they vote on the Senate bill, but their only option was to pass it.
This is a huge and dramatic win for President Obama. For months Obama has faced criticism from some on the left who feel that he caved to the Republicans on numerous issues, and today’s victory should go a long way towards muting that criticism. Outside of politics, this is a huge win for the two million Americans who were facing termination of their unemployment insurance at the beginning of the new year.
The unnecessary battle over the payroll tax cut extension has allowed Obama to define himself and demonstrate that he is on the side of working Americans. This is a complete and comprehensive victory for the president that allows him to keep building momentum as he heads into 2012.
The Republicans have crumbled, Obama has won, and 200 million Americans can now enjoy a Merry Christmas.
For more check out the latest episode of Politicus Radio: