After a year of being held hostage by Tea Party naysayers, the party that controls the White House and Senate is finally gift-wrapping a package of gotcha for their tormentors.
At the President’s urging, Senate Majority Leader Reid has told Speaker Boehner he will not hold a vote this week on government spending until there is agreement on the payroll tax and unemployment compensation issues, for which House Republicans have insisted on paying with cuts for federal workers and Medicare beneficiaries instead of taxing the income of the richest Americans, as Democrats propose.
A White House aide explains, “When the president said Congressional Republicans weren’t going on vacation until they passed this middle class tax cut, he meant it. They don’t get to finish their business until the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance are extended.”
In a reversal of the debt-ceiling crisis, Democrats can pass a stopgap government spending bill to go past this Friday’s deadline and hold Congress in Washington next week to hammer out an agreement on the other issues.
This time, instead of the prospect of downgrading the government’s credit rating, the penalty will be getting home late for the holidays. But for Americans, who now fear Big Government at record levels, that Grinch-like price for Congress may not be too troubling.
Update: Boehner holds his troops together to pass what Reid calls "a pointless partisan exercise. The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. It was dead before it got to the Senate.”
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...