House Republican Leaders Agree to Payroll-Tax Holiday Extension Without Offsets
Trying to avert another tax showdown, House Republican leaders Monday proposed an extension of the withholding-tax holiday to the end of the year without offsetting spending cuts.
Locked in a fight over the payroll tax holiday since President Obama made it the centerpiece of his jobs legislation last September, the top three House GOP leaders backed off previous demands that its extension be accompanied by spending reductions to shore up the finances of the Social Security program, which is funded through withholding taxes.
Instead, while blaming Senate Democrats for not negotiating in good faith, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his top lieutenants said they would not be held responsible for an increase in taxes to 160 million workers, whose payroll withholdings are set to increase an average of $80 a month starting March 1.
Republicans want to continue negotiations over financing the rest of the original legislative package, including an extension of unemployment benefits and a key tweak to maintain Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, while assuring that taxes will not rise on workers.