View Full Version : GOP Adjourns House as Dems Move to Call Up Senate Tax Cut Bill

12-21-2011, 03:18 PM

WASHINGTON House Democrats were fuming Wednesday after Republicans adjourned the chamber just as Democrats were trying to bring up the Senate-passed payroll tax cut bill, a two-month extension that Republicans effectively rejected in a vote the day before.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer was cut off as he tried to call up the Senate bill for a vote. In an unusual scene, the presiding Republican in the chamber adjourned the chamber until Friday and walked out while Hoyer continued shouting on the floor for the House to vote "to extend the tax cut for 160 million Americans."

You're walking out," Hoyer said as officials left the chamber. "You're walking away. Just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers."

Hoyer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, later slammed Republicans for the maneuver.

"We could have gotten this bill passed and by the end of the day it could be on the president's desk," Van Hollen said.

But while Senate and House Democrats were calling for a swift House vote on the Senate-passed bill, House Republicans, who've already approved a year-long extension for the payroll tax cut, made demands of their own.

Republicans were calling on the Senate to appoint lawmakers to negotiate a compromise between the Senate bill -- which extends the payroll tax cut for two months -- and the House Republican version which would last a year. The House voted in favor of launching that compromise process Tuesday, though it did not technically hold an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill.


12-21-2011, 03:18 PM