TPM News

House Speaker John Boehner released the following statement after House Republicans agreed to accept a two-month payroll tax cut extension:

“Senator Reid and I have reached an agreement that will ensure taxes do not increase for working families on January 1 while ensuring that a complex new reporting burden is not unintentionally imposed on small business job creators. Under the terms of our agreement, a new bill will be approved by the House that reflects the bipartisan agreement in the Senate along with new language that allows job creators to process and withhold payroll taxation under the same accounting structure that is currently in place. The Senate will join the House in immediately appointing conferees, with instructions to reach agreement in the weeks ahead on a full-year payroll tax extension. We will ask the House and Senate to approve this agreement by unanimous consent before Christmas. I thank our Members – particularly those who have remained here in the Capitol with the holidays approaching – for their efforts to enact a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut for working families.”

Mitt Romney has declined to make his tax returns public. One reason might be that he pays lower taxes than most Americans because he makes money off of investments, taxed at a lower rate than regular income. To popularize this theory, the DNC has launched, a site where people can compare the tax rate of average Americans to Romney’s.

Republican Rep. Robert Dold on Thursday also called for an immediate extension of the payroll tax cut. In a statement, Dold said:

“For months I have been advocating for the extension of the payroll-tax holiday and have been working in a bipartisan way in Congress to find common ground so we can get things done for the American people. It is clear that the Senate will not negotiate with the House so I am calling on House Leadership to immediately pass the Senate’s temporary two-month extension. Furthermore, I am calling on Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to immediately appoint Senate conferees so that both bodies of Congress can come together and work out a long-term solution.

“It is unfortunate that the American people have to worry this holiday season about whether or not they will be giving more of their hard-earned money to the government. That is why I believe it is necessary to pass the two-month extension so that the people of Illinois aren’t faced with a tax increase on January 1st. But let me be clear- the Senate must come to the table and work with the House so that we can find a permanent solution so that hardworking Middle Class families aren’t faced with the same uncertainty in 60 days. In the spirit of the season, let’s end the games immediately and pass the two month extension.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says John Boehner should grab the life-line Mitch McConnell just tossed him.

"I agree with Senator McConnell and the many other Republicans who have spoken up in recent days that the most reasonable path forward is for the House of Representatives to pass the Senate's bipartisan agreement immediately, to make sure that middle-class families do not wake up to a tax increase on January 1st," Reid said in an official statement. "Once the House passes the Senate's bipartisan compromise to hold middle class families harmless while we work out our differences, I will be happy to restart the negotiating process to forge a year-long extension.... Now, it is important that we now hear from Speaker Boehner in light of Senator McConnell's comments."

Boehner and GOP payroll tax negotiators are meeting as of this writing to mull McConnell's proposal -- we should know what they decide very soon.