Sen. Brown Slams House GOP Vote Against Tax Cut Extension

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — U.S. Sen. Scott Brown criticized fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives for voting against legislation that would have prevented a Social Security payroll tax increase for 160 million workers on Jan. 1.

The House on Tuesday voted to disapprove a Senate bill that would have extended the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for two months, seeking instead a conference with the Senate to work out differences between the two chambers’ bills.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is demanding negotiations on a bill to renew the cuts through 2012.

Brown called the House GOP’s decision to block the short-term bi-partisan deal “ugly partisanship” that would hurt hard-working Americans.

Brown says he appreciates the House GOP’s effort to extend the measure for a full year, but said the Senate’s two-month extension is a good deal and the refusal to compromise threatens to increase taxes and stop unemployment benefits for those out of work.

“It angers me that House Republicans would rather continue playing politics than find solutions. Their actions will hurt American families and be detrimental to our fragile economy,” Sen. Brown said in a statement. “We are Americans first; now is not the time for drawing lines in the sand. Without a resolution, millions of workers will take home smaller paychecks, and families relying on unemployment benefits will lose their lifeline.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • tssaall

    Kudos to Senator Brown!!!!

  • donny

    Me thinks Warren’s popularity has Sen Brown remembering his middle class constituents. Cue the barn coat and pickup truck photo ops.

    • gggramps

      He’s in ‘election mode’ & moving to the middle!…

      ‘Liz’ can’t move, she’s stuck on the ‘LEFT’. If she try’s to make a move to the middle, she’s toast!

      Good move on his part, purely strategic.


    • Tssaal

      Could be Donny. Or hes maturing and fitting into his elected roll. No matter what the reason he did the right thing.

  • response

    A two month extension just doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint. For employers, it would mean re-programming payroll systems to extend the tax to the 4.2%. Then, they would have to change it back for March? The IRS would need to issue a new 941 form and add lines for wages paid in Jan and Feb at the 10.4% and then March wages paid for 12.4%.
    Then change the form back for Q2 filings.
    From a social security standpoint, the system cannot support itself. What this tax reduction did, was take money away from seniors and those on disability and give it to people who are working. Someone working making 50K a year, I’m sure can afford the extra 20.00 per week.
    In the end, the answer to this is, eliminate the cap on social security wages. Those who make more, pay more. (Keep the cap for employers but make it an even 100K for simplicity)

    • tssal

      response I agree with much of what you have said in your last few sentences. Question – are you in favor of continuing the tax credits for the wealthy?

      First, I agree a two-month extension is not the answer. Second, the problem is that along with the actual payroll tax cut, the GOP attached a bill that would push through the Keyxtone XL pipeline. Doesn’t belong on there – it’s a game – it’s all GOP – period.

      The democrats tried to use taxes on the top percent to fund the payroll tax cut. I don’t disagree with the idea but felt it was stupid because they knew the republicans wouldn’t go for it. The democrats backed off. Te republicans have gone far beyond reason and included a pipeline vote – inexcusable.

      the bottom line is that the republicans have pledged their allegiance to Norquist and sworn not to increase taxes. They forgot to say they only meant not to increase taxes to the wealthy. I do not understand how anyone cannot see that.

  • response

    tsal – I guess I would have to ask by what you mean by “wealthy”?
    Over a million, I would say yes, although the small business owner would not agree with me on that one. I would actually re-config the tax code entirely!
    For social security tax – get rid of the cap and it resolves the problem. I would do this if there were more accountablility in the system. No more di benefits if you are an alcoholics/addicts is the reason you can’t work.
    As to your questions regarding the GOP, I think the problem is with both sides of the aisle and you can’t just blame one party.
    The pipeline is going to be a necessity in the future if we want to cut back on foreign oil comsumption – but your right about not belonging in this bill.
    As I read the revisions to the bill, I thought it was included the president had to make a descision within a 90 days regarding that, not that the funding would be there? – but it wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t read a bill correctly!
    Oh well….

    • tssal

      I agree the problems exist on both sides of the aisle. In this case I see something that is reprehensible on the right side.

      Last year this time the entire country was held hostage by the GOP because they would not continue the Bush tax breaks unless it was extended to all. The reason being they had signed the Norquist pledge stating they would not raise taxes – ever.

      This year we are held hostage once again by the same group because they will not extend a payroll tax cut unless it includes forcing through the pipeline decision. They are literally posturing to the oil special interest groups and while doing so willing to raise taxes to millions of every day Americans.

      Remember – they said they would not raise taxes a year ago and now to keep the oil cartel happy they seem to have no problem raising taxes. Either they are or they are not – it should not be a pledge of convenience and that is exactly what it is.

      In this case the blame belongs squarely on the backs of the republicans in the house. Even other republicans see what the game is.

      I agree with your comments about the tax code. As far as wealthy – there is a top 10% of Americans who have (as I’ve said before) seen nearly a 300% increase in income in the past 30 years. I have no idea who honestly believes having seen that great an increase that specific group that they need a tax break and if so why.

  • Joe

    Are we really surprised politicians are playing politics and lobbyist roulette with our tax dollars? My new years resolution is simple. If ya can’t beat em’,, join em’. I’m digging a large hole in my backyard and installing a large moisture controlled fireproof safe. I will then put inside whatever little cash I currently have or make in the future.

  • response

    Joe – great idea…
    tsal – I do agree with you to extent on the wealthy who have their income increase 300%…however, some of these people worked very hard to get where they are. We do still need to have a reward system for those who work hard (steve jobs) and not be punished for wanting to succeed in life.
    These are the people that hire employees and make the economy work.
    It’s the people that try to lie, cheat and steel their way to the top(and through life) that I have a problem with. (ie…John Kerry) and (while I’m on my soapbox) can we have a treasury secratary that doesn’t cheat on his darn tax returns…..

    • tssal

      I believe the average worker works hard as well. They only saw 65% – there has to be equity.

      As far as the wealthy making the economy work – not true. The economy is 70% driven by consumers and they are not the wealthy – they are the average folk who saw the 65% increase in the same period that the wealthy saw a 275% increase. Makes it easy to see why we are where we are – you can’t squeeze water from a stone.

      Joe – not sure of your age or that of your parents but a very large portion of the depression era folks believed that you always had cash tucked away and out of the bank.

      • response

        consumers cannot consume unless there are products being manufactured.
        and on that note….BUY AMERICAN!

  • tssal

    I’d say it’s more like products will not be manufactured if there is no one to sell them to. Consumers drive the production – e.g., the economy! Bring jobs back to America.

    • tssal

      that’s no one to consume them – although I suspect you already figured that out

  • andyme

    We are all pawns in politicians games, TSSAL, I don’t believe Norquist is an elected official.

    Here is a novel idea, let’s solve the problem with a longer than 2 month solution, just maybe business owners will feel some stability coming out of Washington.

    • tssal

      andyme yes we are all pawns. If I may add to the idea – get the pipeline off the table and address the issue on its own. I suspect we’d see it pass.

    • tssal

      andyme – I didn’t think I said Norquist is an elected official – sorry if I did

  • massman

    First in line for the Elizabeth Warren, The Best Candidate Money Can’t Buy t-shirt.
    Well played though, Senator Brown.

  • tssal

    The house has said that a two month extension would only amount to about $160 in the average person’s pocket. They don’t think that’s enough to make a difference. Yet they seem to believe those who make millions a year should receive a tax break. Are these people for real???? And who is voting for them?

    • gggrrramps


      The 11% that the people approve of, are the ‘Freshmen in Congress’….

      The 89% disapproval, are your ole’ boy ‘breathern’…


  • fred

    Scott Brown is a member of the senate. The same senate that has not passed a budget in over 900 days. The same senate that has offered virtually nothing while at least the House has been working and putting ideas on the table. This 2 month idea is just kicking the can down the road and will unecessarily cause employers a lot more expense dealing with any changes during the year.
    What’s wrong with including the pipe line in this bill? Obama has alerady said he wants to study it and won’t make a decision until after the election so as not to alienate some of his backers while indicating to others to hold tight (unions) that he’s actually for it. He is playing politics with American jobs more so than anyone. I think it was shrewd move to include it in this bill and force Obama’s hand. Politicians playing politics, is that new one for you people?

  • fred

    Well it looks like they’ll be going for the 2 months agreement after all. We can continue this discussion in two months when congress again will wait until the 11th hour.
    Obama will also have to decide on who he will back, environmentalists or unions when he forced to make a decision on the pipe line instead of voting present.

  • CyndI

    Sen Brown is for the people not the “in-crowd” I am hoping that his supporters remember this when it comes time to vote.
    “Lizzie” is not for the people, she is for herself and the “bent over lefties.
    Go Sen Scott Brown!

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