Here we go againAs if Americans haven't seen enough dysfunction in Washington, House Republicans engineered a masterpiece Tuesday to round out the year. They rejected a bipartisan Senate plan that would have extended payroll tax Payroll Tax
Tax an employer withholds and/or pays on behalf of their employees based on the wage or salary of the employee. In most countries, including the U.S., both state and federal authorities collect some form of payroll tax. cuts and unemployment benefits for two months, giving lawmakers time to work out a longer-term deal.House Republicans' refusal was purportedly because they didn't want to "kick the can down the road" and instead wanted a year-long deal. The reality is that they are using the measure to try to gain political leverage. They have tied the extension of cuts and benefits to several major policy issues that have met with strong opposition.
Republicans see it as a game — as Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Fla., said, "It's high-stakes poker." And they apparently think they can force the Democrats' hand, as they have in the past. Consider the stakes: If the cuts and benefits aren't extended by Jan. 1, 160 million workers will see their payroll taxes go up — likely between $700 and $2,300 a year — and 2.5 million unemployed Americans will see their benefits run out.
It's shameful to see this as a political game. We can't understand what Republicans in the House, including Nevadans Mark Amodei and Joe Heck Joseph (Joe) J. Heck is a Republican member of the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County District 5 (map) since 2004. External links
Americans are tired of the gridlock Gridlock
A government, business or institution's inability to function at a normal level due either to complex or conflicting procedures within the administrative framework or to impending change in the business. and problems in Washington, and the House Republicans have been baffling baf·fle
tr.v. baf·fled, baf·fling, baf·fles
1. To frustrate or check (a person) as by confusing or perplexing; stymie.
2. To impede the force or movement of.
1. . They say they want to spur the economy and create jobs, but how does blocking a two-month extension of cuts and benefits help anyone? Heaven forbid that Americans have more money to spend. That might actually spur the economy, and that would be ... bad?
The Republican leadership in the House refuses to take responsibility for its actions and instead is blaming everyone else — President Barack Obama, Democrats, the Senate. However, the Republican obstruction and demands for ideological purity have done nothing to create jobs, help the economy or improve consumer confidence. Instead, they have only frustrated the nation's economic rebound because no one is sure what to expect out of the House but gridlock and brinkmanship brink·man·ship also brinks·man·ship
The practice, especially in international politics, of seeking advantage by creating the impression that one is willing and able to push a highly dangerous situation to the limit rather than concede. .
These types of games Major categories:
Or even how the nation's credit rating dimmed and their own polls dropped after they pushed their own brand of brinkmanship earlier this year?
Apparently those lessons were lost on them.
This could easily be solved. Congress could hold an up-or-down vote on extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits — without any of the other demands Republicans have made. That would be fitting with the "Pledge to America," in which House Republicans promised not to package "unpopular bills with 'must-pass' legislation" and said they would "advance major legislation one issue at a time."
Unfortunately, the only issues we see Republicans advancing are their own political goals, which they've put ahead of the needs of most Americans.
So much for their pledge.