This morning, Republicans walked away (again) from the Senate compromise bill to continue tax cuts for middle class families, extend assistance for unemployed Americans, and ensure seniors access to doctors. And it’s certainly not playing out well for them:
MSNBC: GOP "In A Very Precarious Situation":
“The House GOP is in a very precarious situation this morning for a few reasons. Number one, the article in the Wall Street Journal…really slamming them for this fight. That will resonate with a lot of rank-and-file Members who don't want to be on the wrong side of the Wall Street Journal. On top of that, they're not get anything support from their colleagues in the Senate. Mitch McConnell has been silent about this, has not spoken out in favor of the House GOP's position. Bob Corker, someone close to leadership in the Senate, a Republican from Tennessee said the House can stop this fight, it's not worth it. So the optics are looking very bad.
“You saw right there, Steny Hoyer, on the House Floor in the proper forma session, was trying to push forward the Senate bill… and literally the GOP cut his mic and cut the process down.”
Washington Monthly: Literally Walking Away From The Fight
“It was rather remarkable this morning to watch the proceedings on the House floor. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) wanted to try again to bring up the Senate’s bipartisan payroll-tax-break compromise, and instead of debating, Republicans literally walked away from the fight.”
“If you watch the clip, you’ll notice that Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who was presiding over the House session at the time, got out of the Speaker’s chair and left the chamber altogether. Other Republicans joined him. Hoyer, of course, noticed, and explained, ‘You’re walking out, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle class taxpayers, the unemployed, and … those who will be seeking medical assistance from their doctors.’
“I know Republicans think they’re in ‘Braveheart’ but I don’t remember the scene in the movie in which William Wallace decided he’d rather run away than fight. It’s worth emphasizing that the House Democrats at this point really just want a vote on the Senate bill. Republican leaders gave their word that they would allow this, but then changed their mind when they realized the Senate compromise might actually pass if brought to the floor. I’d say this just about marks the point at which this fiasco went from tragedy to farce.”
Washington Examiner: House GOP Literally Refuses to Listen to Vote Request On Payroll Tax Cut
“Hoyer made what is a called a ‘unanimous consent’ request. As the name suggest, the request literally requires unanimous consent from all members of the House in order to pass. In order to stop the motion all the Republicans would have needed to do was find one representative to go to the floor and object to Hoyer’s request. Instead, the GOP chose to not even recognize the request and walk off the floor."
“The bill passed in the Senate would extend the payroll tax cut for two months and also increase the reimbursement rate for doctors who provide services under Medicare. That bill is seen as a compromise, as Republicans forced Democrats to accept language related to the Keystone XL pipeline in exchange for the extension.”
“However, House Republicans have refused to go along with their Republican colleagues in the Senate. Some Republicans oppose the payroll tax cut extension altogether, and others only favor a year-long extension that is paid for with spending cuts favored by their side. If nothing is done by January 1, Americans will automatically receive a payroll tax hike…”
Business Insider: House Republicans Refuse To Let Democrats Bring Up Senate Compromise
“The congressional stalemate over extending the payroll tax cut is only intensifying, as House Republicans refused to let Democrats bring up the Senate compromise bill for consideration.”
“The incident is the latest to offer Democrats the upper hand in the ongoing public relations battle over the tax cut. Republicans are having difficulty explaining why they oppose a tax cut — after years of branding themselves the party of the same.”
The Hill: Hoyer Blasts GOP For 'Walking Away' as Dems Try to Raise Senate Payroll Bill
“House Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt Wednesday to call up the Senate payroll tax bill by quickly gaveling today's pro forma session to a close.”
“Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) presided over the brief pro forma session, and after the pledge of allegiance closed the session and said the next pro forma would be on Friday. As Fitzpatrick gaveled the session closed, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) asked to be recognized to speak, but Fitzpatrick did not recognize him. Hoyer loudly protested the move as Fitzpatrick walked out of the House.”
Think Progress: Speaker Cuts Off C-SPAN Cameras When Dems Attempt To Bring Vote On Payroll Tax Cut
“During a quick pro-forma session of the House this morning, Republicans rebuffed a Democratic attempt to force an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed payroll tax holiday extension, which Republicans have thus far refused to allow. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who was serving as the speaker pro-temp… quickly adjourning the House.”
“Hoyer continued talking undeterred, saying, ‘You’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers [and] the unemployed. We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing this issue of critical importance to this country,” Hoyer added.