The reversal by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives over the renewal of a payroll tax cut that effects every American with a job or without but accepting unemployment is a clear defeat for the majority party, according to U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.
Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said the deal reached late Thursday by House leaders to renew the tax cut through February is a clear indication that Speaker John Boehner and others listened to harsh criticism after they initially rejected the proposal.
"Ninety-three thousand jobless workers in Michigan and middle class families around the country will celebrate the Holidays knowing their voices were heard," Peters said in a news release. "This is a defeat for Speaker Boehner and Tea Party extremists and a victory for those who want to work together to solve problems."
Members of U.S. are expected today to pass a limited extension of the federal payroll tax cut for every worker and the unemployed later today.
If all goes according to plan, Congress will send a bill to President Barack Obama to become law for two months and put off until January a fight over how to pay for the 2 percentage point tax cut, extend jobless benefits averaging around $300 a week and prevent doctors from absorbing a big cut in Medicare payments through 2012, the Huffington Post reported.
Those goals had been embraced by virtually every lawmaker in the House and Senate, but had been derailed in a quarrel over demands by House Republicans for immediate negotiations on a long-term extension bill. Senate leaders of both parties had tried to barter such an agreement among themselves a week ago but failed, instead agreeing upon a 60-day measure to buy time for talks next year.
Boehner, R-Ohio, caved in to the Senate demands after days of criticism from Obama and Democrats.
The payroll tax cut was the centerpiece of Obama's three-month, campaign-style drive for jobs legislation that seems to have contributed to an uptick in his poll numbers – and taken a toll on those of congressional Republicans, according to the Huffington Post.