Payroll Tax Cut Splinters GOP
Republicans, once again, face a defining choice less than a month before the payroll tax holiday expires.
Should they extend the tax break for workers and blunt President Barack Obama’s campaign plan to tag them as a band of out-of-touch, intransigent do-nothings?
Or should they stiffen their collective spine and end a tax cut that many of them consider fundamentally bad policy?
It’s a dilemma that’s splitting the party and threatening to give leadership another bout of migraines.
But the split in strategy could have repercussions beyond the likelihood of another Capitol Hill drama in the heat of campaign season. It has senior Republicans on the Hill more pessimistic about the prospect of an agreement — especially as a House-Senate conference committee struggles to bridge the partisan divide.
“It’s far from a done deal,” one senior House Republican said, pegging the chances of a deal at 50-50.
Failure would play directly into Obama’s campaign theme of an inept Congress and an opposition party unwilling to cut taxes for middle-class Americans who need relief the most.