December 13th, 2011
06:47 PM ET

House passes GOP plan for payroll tax cut extension

The U.S. House on Tuesday evening a bill that would extend a Social Security payroll tax cut and speed the process for government approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The bill passed 234-193. It still would need Senate approval, which is unlikely given strong opposition from Democratic leaders because of certain provisions, including those dealing with the pipeline and how to pay for the tax cut.

Congressional Democrats are pushing for the payroll tax cut extension, but they are at loggerheads with Republicans over how to pay for it.

The payroll tax break, which was enacted last year, cut workers’ Social Security payroll tax rate to 4.2% on the first $106,800 in wages this year, instead of the normal 6.2%. With that cut, people making $50,000 this year will take home an additional $1,000.

Unless the break is extended, it will expire after December 31.

The GOP bill would extend the break and renew aid for the unemployed, while cutting back the maximum length of federal jobless benefits from the current 99 weeks to 59. The bill would also avoid a scheduled cut in pay for Medicare physicians for two years, a provision known as the "doc fix."

To pay for the bill, GOP leaders use a series of spending cuts, including freezing pay for federal employees and members of Congress, eliminating a child tax credit for those in the United States illegally, and increasing Medicare premiums for those who earn more than $80,000 annually.


Filed under: Economy • Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Brandon

    might wanna add the passed in the first sentence

    December 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    yeah that first sentence was "stupid suckasss,ha ha ha"

    December 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    Keep it up Gop, more

    December 14, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. ronvan

    As I have said before, WE, the people, need to vote all these bums out! Dems have already said it is "dead on arrival".
    More money and time, to submit some "toilet paper", designed to fail. This political, back & forth, with absolutely nothing being accomplished, has failed the American people, so how much worse off could we be to throw all these inept, money grubbing, crooks, out of offcie, and start all over?

    December 14, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jerry A.

    Q: When did the GOP ever see a tax break they didn't like?
    A: When it benefits someone other than their rich CEO corporate buddies.

    What precisely have government employees done to deserve another attack from the GOP? They get blamed by the Tea Party wing of the GOP for enforcing the laws that Congress passes. They have had their pay frozen for the past 2 years. Now the GOP wants to extend the pay freeze for middle class federal employees to pay for lower taxes on everyone. That's like a 3% pay cut every year, due to costs going up (inflation). But the GOP will fight to their last breath to block the expiration of Bush's "temporary" tax reduction for the rich. I can tell what are their priorities, and it isn't middle class me or anyone I know.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |