The PJ Tatler

Obama's Payroll Tax Victory Lap and Wanting More

Just because Congress passed the payroll tax extension Friday doesn’t end the White House’s obsession with forty dollars.

The House 293-192, followed quickly by the Senate 60-36, passed the bill to keep the Social Security payroll tax at 4.2 percent and to extend unemployment benefits. The Congressional Budget Office scored the cost of the payroll tax cut at $94.5 billion and the unemployment benefits at $309 billion; the CBO said the bill in its totality would increase the deficit by $89.3 billion over the next decade.

Still, President Obama is ready for a victory lap. He’ll also trot out those who submitted comments about what an extra $40 in each paycheck means to them in order to push Congress to tackle more of his agenda.

In the daily president’s schedule, the White House said Obama “will host an event at the White House to discuss the importance of the agreement passed by Congress to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance and to urge Congress to build on the success of the agreement by taking additional steps to create jobs, grow the economy and help the middle class.”

“The President will be joined by Americans who have shared their stories on WhiteHouse.gov and Twitter about what $40 a paycheck means to them,” the White House said. “Because of this bipartisan action, the typical American family will still see an extra $40 in every paycheck, keeping nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money this year.”

The bipartisanship only extended so far, with the compromise deal splitting Republican leadership. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted for the package, while Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) voted against it.

“With this issue behind us and the Democrats’ latest attempt to raise taxes defeated, it’s important that we look for additional ways to cut spending and work towards comprehensive tax reform that will bring lasting certainty for families and job creators,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who voted for the bill, said after its passage.

Obama will sign the bill later this week.

This evening, though, he’ll sing the blues: B.B. King and Mick Jagger are visiting the White House for a blues music event in recognition of Black History Month.