Issue Report ● *End of Year Extenders
For Immediate Release: 
January 18, 2012
Contact Info: 

As the second session of the 112th Congress gets underway, there is just over one month to take action on critical provisions to extend middle class tax cuts, unemployment assistance, and the Medicare physician pay rate.  We do not have time for the political games House Republicans played last month, when they walked away from the American people, putting middle class tax cuts, unemployment insurance, and seniors’ access to their doctors at risk. Some Republicans have indicated they will change course this time around so we can get our work done – but actions speak louder than words, and it’s time for them sit down at the negotiating table and reach an agreement:

  • House Speaker John Boehner, hoping to spare fellow Republicans a second embarrassing defeat over payroll tax cuts, is prepared to navigate around rebellious Tea Party-aligned lawmakers to get a deal, according to congressional aides. Republicans in the House of Representatives got a public drubbing from critics within and outside the party in December for initially refusing to approve a Senate plan to extend the tax break for 160 million Americans through February.” [Reuters, 1/13/12]
  •  “The White House sees only one ‘must-pass’ bill on the horizon — an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for the remainder of 2012. But that is an unlikely spot for Republicans to make a stand. The party lost badly on the issue at the close of last year, and many Republicans want to avoid a drag-out fight that could further damage their image.”  [The Hill, 1/17/12]
  • “Exacerbating the tensions are rumors that leadership will not renew the payroll-tax war that was waged just before Christmas…Wary of the toll that Obama’s charges extracted last month when he said Republicans wanted to raise taxes on 160 million workers, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told some of his troops that GOP leaders will not expend much more political capital on the matter, according to several members.” [National Journal, 1/16/12]
  • “…For instance, the two-month fix on the payroll-tax cut and unemployment benefits expires on Feb. 29, and a conference committee has been named to work out a full-year deal…one House Republican concedes, ‘I think it will be a quiet victory for the president.’” [National Journal, 1/12/12]
Democrats are ready to work with the GOP on a full-year extension that gives families and businesses the certainty they need. We hope Republicans will abandon the partisan stance they took in December and stop walking away from middle class families and seniors.
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