Paul Ryan: Dems ‘Not Engaging’ In Payroll Tax Cut Talks

Paul Ryan, the House GOP’s top budget man, said on ABC’s “This Week” that Democratic leaders are refusing to work with Republicans on finding ways to pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut.

Yeah, it seems as if the parties — the president’s party leaders are more or less not engaging in these conversations.  We have offered literally scores of different offsets.  We’ve taken provisions from the president’s own budget as ways of paying for this payroll tax holiday, yet they continue to insist on not agreeing to those kinds of things.

So I don’t know where this is going to come down to it.  I do believe this will get extended.  But when we make offer after offer based on policies that we know Democrats and the president have supported in the past, yet they still insist on not coming to agreement, it’s difficult to see exactly how this is going to pan out.

The remarks reflect that the negotiations still aren’t going anywhere. Republicans are divided on whether to extend the tax holiday at all, but GOP leaders say they support the idea and want to offset it with spending cuts. Senate Democrats say they’re working on a fallback plan of their own.

The payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and existing Medicare doctor reimbursement levels expire March 1.