Boehner Hits Bottom -- Keeps Digging (Updated)
Politico reports that House Republicans have struck a deal with Senate Democrats to extend the payroll tax holiday for two months, while negotiating a one year extension:
The capitulation came fast Thursday afternoon as House Republicans found themselves increasingly isolated in insisting that a full one-year extension was the only solution to the year-end crisis. The end of this debate will also come quickly — the House and Senate are expected to clear the legislation on a voice vote Friday morning
In announcing the deal Thursday evening, Speaker John Boehner said Republicans had won new provisions that would protect businesses from certain payroll reporting requirements. Republicans also got Democrats to agree to accelerate the meeting of a joint House-Senate conference committee to negotiate a full-year deal.
Speaker John Boehner apparently has no pride whatsoever. Having failed to get Harry Reid to name anyone to a House-Senate conference committee to work out a deal to extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits, and doc fix for a year rather than force a House vote on the two month extension passed by the Senate, Boehner is now groveling beneath President Obama begging him to save the Republicans from their own stupidity.
The Speaker is a damsel in distress and Snidely Whiplash appears to have the upper hand.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, phoned President Obama this morning and asked him to send members of his economic team to the Capitol to end the political stalemate and negotiate a path toward a one-year extension of the payroll tax credit. The president declined the offer.
“With Sen. Reid having declined to call his members back to Washington this week to join the House in negotiating a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut, the speaker proposed that the president send members of his economic policy team up to Congress to find a way to accommodate the president’s full-year request,” a senior aide to the speaker said. “The speaker explained his concern that flaws in the Senate-passed bill will be unworkable for many small-business job creators. He reiterated that if their shared goal is a one-year bill, there is no reason an agreement cannot be reached before year’s end. The president declined the speaker’s offer.”
According to the White House, the president told Boehner “the only viable option” is the two-month extension, but Obama “is committed to begin working immediately on a full-year agreement once the House passes the bipartisan Senate compromise that prevents a tax hike on 160 million Americans on Jan. 1.”
Technically, Boehner is right. The scheme is indeed, unnecessarily complex and nearly unworkable.
But technicalities don't mean squat when you're in a political fight and you're holding a pair of deuces while your opponent is flashing three queens. The Democrats, including the president, are following one of the oldest political maxims in history: Don't get in the way when your opponent is in the process of destroying themselves.
It appears that the GOP is no longer a political party. Their members have bolted and decided to join the Hemlock Society.