Senate Republican frustration mounting with House GOP
December 21st, 2011
01:34 PM ET
6 years ago

Senate Republican frustration mounting with House GOP

Washington (CNN)– The House GOP is coming under increasing fire from fellow Republicans in the Senate for the payroll tax standoff with Democrats – which many in the GOP see as a growing political debacle.

Multiple Senate GOP sources told CNN that frustration with their counterparts in the House is mounting.

"The House Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They are on their own," a Senate GOP leadership aide told CNN.

"This is a lose – lose situation for us. They've let the Democrats get the messaging advantage and more specifically we've turned one of our key issues on its head. The Republicans look like they are the ones blocking tax relief," said the Senate GOP leadership aide, who also called it "inexcusable."

On Saturday, the vast majority of Senate Republicans voted for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, and many were surprised that their House colleagues revolted and refuse to agree to the temporary fix.

Over the past few days many Senate Republicans have publicly called on the House to pass the short-term measure, saying it’s not perfect, but worth voting for in order to avoid an average tax increase of $1,000 for Americans.

The Wall Street Journal, usually a reliable voice of support for Republicans, wrote a scathing editorial Wednesday, torching House Republicans for a misguided strategy, both on policy and politics.

"The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play," said the Wall Street Journal editorial.

GOP Senator Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, issued a statement Tuesday supporting the House GOP's decision not to approve the two-month extension. Wednesday morning, he changed his tune and said he now agrees with the Wall Street Journal.

"Both Republicans and Democrats have agreed that this is going to happen and probably the best thing to happen now is just to get it over with – one more policy blunder- but just get it over with and move on because now it's been framed as a tax increase which it's not," Corker told CNBC.

On Tuesday Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN this fight is "harming the Republican party."

To be sure, there is a fair amount of frustration among House Republicans with their Senate brethren. Several House GOP sources have told CNN they believe Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, gave up too soon last week on negotiations for a year-long payroll tax extension, which is what all sides ultimately want. Those talks were stymied over partisan differences on how to pay for the tax cut.

Still, a second senior GOP Senate aide told CNN Republicans should be happy because they got several important concessions from Democrats, including one relating to the controversial Keystone Pipeline.

"The House Republicans pulled defeat from the jaws of victory," said the senior GOP Senate aide.

- CNN Radio Correspondent Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Phil in KC

    I'm loving this! It's pretty bad when your own party turns on you. That oughta tell them something. And it should tell the folks back home something about their reps.

    December 21, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |

    This is the fight I've been waiting to see. Republicans are so divided amongst themselves that democrats don't need to make an argument against them. When you have Sen. McLame coming out stating that the House is "harming the Republican party," there are major problems within the party. They are going to self destruct before our eyes, and democrats should just sit back and watch.

    December 21, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. PA_outofwork

    The Senate Republicans better grow a pair and STOP caving in. The 2012 election is coming and it's time to clean out the Senate.

    December 21, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Grand Oil Party

    The House GOP fails and this is news how? This happens at every single crucial vote now. Unless some airport is being named or a post office dedicates, Boehner shuts down the government as a matter of his priciples. I pray Ohio voters fire this fool of a Speaker.

    December 21, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. MarineVet

    Well, at least the Republicans in the House are consistent in their abject obstructionism. It helps send a clear message to voters in the middle class.

    December 21, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. rob522

    This is the best show in it when the GOP shots themselves in the foot....repeatedly.

    December 21, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "The Wall Street Journal, usually a reliable voice of support for Republicans, wrote a scathing editorial Wednesday, torching House Republicans for a misguided strategy, both on policy and politics."

    It should also be noted very prominently that the WSJ editorial gets the issue completely and utterly 100% wrong by pretending the payroll tax cut has anything to do with giving employers an incentive to hire more workers. It doesn't. It doesn't effect employer taxes. It only effects employEE taxes and it's sole intention is to shore up demand to help drive recovery. It's abundantly clear from reading the WSJ editorial and seeing clips of the Faux & Friends muppets making the exact same "mistake" that Murdoch and his management teams at those outfits have made a calculated decision to try to make this about whether the bill "creates jobs"...even though they know full well that's not how it works.

    December 21, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Lolo

    They all will be voted out especially Cantor. Bonehead cry baby, McCain, and the other old fool from Kentucky McConnell. They dio not want change for the future because it means that their pocketbooks will get lighter. Do you notice how these republican/tea partiers are all trying to sell books to get richer while on the campaign trail and their so called christian base is okay with it, while the rest of the true Americans are suffering because they keep saying no. Now Bonehead talks that he needs President Obamas help regarding the payroll tax. When President Obama reached out to these idiots they slapped his hand away on more than one occasion. Make up your mind. One thing I can say about this clown party called the GOP is that they are very indecisive and not up to par on anything. I definetly do not want them running the country as President. President Obama do not give into them. Heck they can't even tell when they have won the fight, because they are so ignorant. They need to get rid of the old coots in their party, because they are definitely ruining any chance they have to win anything. Obama/Biden 2012

    December 21, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Grand Oil Party
    The House GOP fails and this is news how?
    No, actually the House GOP is winning. They are the only group with leadership that's not afraid to make a decision. We need more people in Washington who are not afraid to do what is right for America. A 2 month 'dodge-the-decision" game is not what is good for America. Obama doesn't care. He is a political hack and all he cares about are political talking points. He has no basic values. That's why he so easily changes his mind on most things.

    December 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Dave

    I would be impressed if the Senate Republicans were actually concerned about the economy and the lower and middle class. All they seem to care about are the elections next year and their appearance. Big surprise there...

    December 21, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Oh, and...HALP!!!! HALP!!!! I'M RUNNIGN OUT OF POPCORN!!! The schadenfreude is almost unbearable.

    Reap, GOPers, Reap!

    December 21, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. RINO Bil

    I got news for you guys, this country's frustration with the Republican Tea Party is mounting period and no one is differentiating between the Senate and House. While I am not switching parties, I no longer advertise myself as a proud Republican. I am getting a sense that the 2012 election is going to go very well for the Dems.

    December 21, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Our prayers came true

    December 21, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. vic , nashville ,tn

    Tea party achieved their goal first they divide the nation now they divide the Republican Party

    December 21, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. DaveC

    Nothing like a circular firing squad to liven things up. Another reason why this used to be die hard republican is now an independent voter.

    December 21, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Peace

    It does not matter at all if you are republican all not. This is about reasoning and being sensible. People come first and the party second.

    December 21, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. American

    Congressional Republicans are the worst Scrooges ever–tax hikes on the middle class at Christmas while protecting their Wall St. fat cats. Disgusting!

    Can't wait to vote in 2012.

    December 21, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Mikey

    Boehner's incompetent leadership of the teabag heavy house GOP (many either are TP or afraid of being primaried by the TP) has created a big probme for the Party, especially for Republicans in the Senate.

    Vote out the Tea Party and fire the inneffective Boehner.

    December 21, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Lisa

    There was a really simple solution to all this - drop the XL Pipeline provision. Pass the extension without that provision. Otherwise, it does appear that the GOP is catering to a select few at the expense of the many.

    If the GOP truly believes in less government involvement, then let the oil companies come into compliance with the EPA standards if they want their pipeline built.

    Saying it will create "jobs" as their justification doesn't cut it, either. An infrastructure bill would also create jobs and benefit the US as a whole, not just a few select oil companies (who plan to sell much of that oil overseas as they only care about their bottom line - not the state of the US). Remove the pipeline, replace it with an infrastructure bill and then claim victory if the Dems try to block that.

    Otherwise, yes, the House GOP is making it appear they only care about the 1%, holding the 99% hostage as a result.

    December 21, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. mike halter

    The Republicans have lost the American people thanks to the Tea Party.

    December 21, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Ed 1

    Obama got what he asked for but now it's not enough.

    December 21, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. RLA

    Great I hope they are frustrated trying to foster the last piece of compromise CRA= on the American public! The HOUSE Tea PArty republicans are doing exactly what they were elected to do! Stop the foolishness by the senate. They actually thought they did something good. What dolts!

    December 21, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Freddy

    It amazes me that it took this long for people to begin laying the blame of gridlock at the feet of those responsible for it. if we continue to be too lazy to look at an issue and hold those responsible for stalling the issue accountable this will never get better.

    December 21, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. greg mathis

    house does there job,senate kicks can down the road,then try to make us believe they did there job.arrogant,trash

    December 21, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Boehner's leadership is so flaccid.

    December 21, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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