Boehner urges Senate to negotiate extension of payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits
Some conservatives seem to be losing patience with House Republicans who are refusing to take up the bipartisan compromise reached by the Senate. But House Speaker John Boehner is asking for Senate negotiators to work with him to try and find a solution.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board blasted Republicans this morning, saying if they didn't get this payroll tax standoff resolved, they could end up re-electing Barack Obama 11 months before the election.
The notoriously conservative body took specific aim at House Republicans who turned down a Senate bill to extend the debate by two months, calling it a political fiasco for the GOP and even a circular firing squad.
Gail Chaddock, congressional correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, wrote that in this standoff, congressmen aren't just drawing lines in the sand, they're breaking out shovels and digging in for a long siege.
"I think at this point all sides are digging deeper," she said.
Chaddock said the anger by the Wall Street Journal editorial page, while a wake-up call to some Republicans, won't completely win the day. Because many of the freshmen representatives who are driving this intractability are Tea Party-backed, they don't feel beholden to anything but their core beliefs.
"My sense is the freshmen and the strong conservatives in the Republican Party have just been waiting for a fight," Chaddock said.
Those Republicans, Chaddock said, feel like they've failed this year, despite many of their opponents saying they've really run the session.
"They haven't really cut government, a lot of the cuts they thought they made turned out to be things that could be reversed or were smoke and mirrors. There's a lot of frustration in that cacaus and I think a good fight is what they're looking for," she said.
In order to move forward, Chaddock said, Speaker John Boehner will have to pull his cacaus together and try to convince them that they can't win this fight. On Wednesday, after meeting with his leadership team, he renewed his call for Senate negotiators to join him in a search for a solution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he'd bargain over a full-year extension, once the two-month deal was approved.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has shortened his vacation to stay in Washington while he awaits action.
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