Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Monday he will not agree to reopen negotiations with House leaders on a payroll tax cut until the House passes the two-month extension already approved by the Senate.
Earlier Monday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he expected the House to reject the tax cut bill that the Senate approved Saturday.
Boehner also said that he expected the House to pass legislation reinforcing the need for a one-year extension and that he wanted the matter to be taken up by a House-Senate conference committee.
Reid said in a statement that, “My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unem ployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians.”
The payroll tax cut extension expires at the end of the year and is worth roughly $1,000 a year for an average family. [QUOTE: CNN]
Sun, 12/18/2011 – 4:03pm —
“In one tidy package, the Republican leadership in Congress has presented their priorities to the American people: Protect millionaires, industrial polluters, gouging doctors and fossil-fuel refiners, while sacrificing the interests of federal workers and the long-term unemployed. Those were the highlights of the Republican-controlled House plan that passed Tuesday to salvage the payroll tax holiday.
Congressional Republicans say it’s a crime against all that is sacred (read Grover Norquist) to ask millionaires to pay one bit more in taxes, but they were reluctant to extend a payroll tax holiday that would add about $1,000 to the average working family’s pay next year. House Speaker John Boehner had to lard up the extension of the payroll tax cut with what has been called “ideological candy” to line up his party’s stalwarts.
What goodies did they choose?
The biggie was the proposed Keystone pipeline from Canada to refineries in Texas. Boehner tied middle-class tax relief to speedy approval of the 1,900 mile pipeline, even as the State Department said a delay is needed to study routes that bypass a huge aquifer under Nebraska and other states. To Republicans, clean drinking water is a luxury.
It’s a lot like their philosophy on clean air, which is why they added polluter protections to the bill to block air-emission rules on industrial boilers and incinerators that release mercury and other toxins.
Nice, huh? Would you really want to live in the world they create?”
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“GOP heart of Dixie could be up for grabs” – UPI
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kim Jong Il, the mercurial and enigmatic North Korean leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions dominated world security fears for more than a decade, has died. He was 69.
Kim‘s death 17 years after he inherited power from his father was announced Monday by the state television from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. The country’s “Dear Leader” — reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine — was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.
North Korea has been grooming Kim’s third son to take over power from his father in the impoverished nation that celebrates the ruling family with an intense cult of personality. [QUOTE: AP]
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December 15, 2011
Newt’s Ideas: Been There, Thought That
By EUGENE ROBINSON INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
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