McConnell breaks silence on payroll tax cut
December 22nd, 2011
10:59 AM ET
2 years ago

McConnell breaks silence on payroll tax cut

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, urged House Republicans Thursday to pass a short-term extension of the expiring payroll tax cut - similar to a two-month measure demanded by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. McConnell also urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to appoint conferees to a House-Senate conference committee - something demanded by House Republicans.

McConnell's statement:

"The House and Senate have both passed bipartisan bills to require the President to quickly make a decision on whether to support thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs through the Keystone XL pipeline, and to extend unemployment insurance, the temporary payroll tax cut and seniors' access to medical care. There is no reason why Congress and the President cannot accomplish all of these things before the end of the year. House Republicans sensibly want greater certainty about the duration of these provisions, while Senate Democrats want more time to negotiate the terms. These goals are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both. Working Americans have suffered enough from the President's failed economic policies and shouldn't face the uncertainty of a New Year's Day tax hike. Leader Reid should appoint conferees on the long-term bill and the House should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provisions, and allows Congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions."


Filed under: Congress • Harry Reid • House • Mitch McConnell • Senate
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. billy

    Republicans passing tax cuts for super rich = easy

    Republicans passing tax cuts for middle class = hard, hard hard

    December 22, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. GI Joe

    He's the worst mistake Kentucky has ever made.

    December 22, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Sniffit

    I guess the GOPers were too busy screwing up the payroll tax cuts for the middle class to draft up some pre-planned blathlast night about the employment report numbers (before they had even seen them). So I'll do it for them: OMFG!!!! END OF THE WORLD!!! BE ANGRY...VERY VERY ANGRY AND AFRAID!!!! RESENT THAT THE DEMS HAVE THE WH AND THAT POTUS IS BLACK!!!! TEMPER TANTRUM TEMPER TANTRUM BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!

    December 22, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. salsa

    The only sensible thing I have heard all week.

    December 22, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "House Republicans sensibly want greater certainty about the duration of these provisions"

    Translation: "House Republicans don't want the payroll tax cut issue coming up in two months because the two month deadline they've given the State Dept on the Pork Pipeline is going to result in it getting denied and they want no distractions from their plans to rant and rave that it's Obama and environmental regulations killing jobs, not a result of their ants-in-the-pants attempt to force the State Dept to make the decision without sufficient analysis."

    December 22, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Donkey Party

    WTF does a pipeline have to do with the payroll tax cut extension?

    December 22, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. AL in West Palm Beach

    The writing is on the wall....

    REPUBLICANS BLOCKED, BLOCKED AND BLOCKED THEMSELVES INTO A CORNER.

    Now, weasel yourselves out.

    December 22, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Ron

    McConnell, "Your toast in 2012"!!! The turtle man will no longer have a visa to destroy America! Bohener samething! Cantor is,nt even worth the mention! Whats so funny about this Cantor??? Wipe the "Smurk" off your face? Your history in 2012! Obama-Biden 2012 Clinton-Warren 2016

    December 22, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Sniffit

    Beaker then ran around Capitol Building yelling "Meep Meep Meep" in a high-pitched voice like his hair was on fire.

    December 22, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. K. in Miami

    I thought I would never see the day when Sen McConnel would appear "Reasonable", after all, it was HE that coined the phrase "My Biggest Task is to make Obama a ONE TERM PRESIDENT"....

    As far as John Boenher and Eric Cantor, these guys are a disgrace to our democracy, game playing with Americans lives is UNPATRIOTIC and TREASONOUS......!

    The day our country rid's our government of these two individuals will be a day of ENFAMY to say the least....

    December 22, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Tom Wyckoff

    Mitch is trying to save a dying party. He knows that the Tea Party is leading the GOP to stunning losses in 2012.

    December 22, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Keith in Austin

    Go ahead GOP and let Obama and his band of Liberal pirates gut Social Security! The working class that Bozo is "supposedly" protecting now, will never see a dime from their contributions when they reach retirement age! Then they will realize what despicable characters Obama and his Liberal zealots truly were!!!

    December 22, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Ghandi

    McConnell is a sell out to the party. He knows he is despised and is pointed out by most Repubs as he is a RINO. He needs to shut up and start voting the will of the people and stop caving into the socialists in the Democratic Party.

    December 22, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Dixie AZ

    Sen Turtle speaks only to blame Obama for the inaction of the Gop in the House. Republicans can try to thrust the pipeline on America in January. Their big oil friends can wait. Help the people who elected you now.

    December 22, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Anthony

    Stop trying to throw the President under the bus McConnell! There is no failed policy of the President here! You're passing a provision that came from the President! Why can't you get off the hate rhetoric and be a damn Senator of the US for once and not a Senator of the Republican Party!

    December 22, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. george of the jungle

    the thousands of jobs for Keystone don't exist. Listening to public radio they project about 2,000.temporary jobs. Nebraska is concerned about the ogalala acquffir. Hope he votes no . even though thats what they are waiting for so they can say he is turning away thousands of jobs. Repos suck. Vote them out

    December 22, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. rs

    So what the average American needs to read into McConnel's statement is this: We (the GOP/TP) don't care about the well-being of the middle class, except to use this point (the Payroll Tax cut) to further the interests of Big Oil and a few temporary constuction jobs for a leaky polluting pipeline that will ultimately result in a whole 50 full-time jobs-FOR CANADIANS!

    December 22, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    Actually, The House has already passed the Payroll Tax Cut and an extension of unemploymnet behefits.
    But Obama and Reid are holding out for their own details.

    December 22, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. chilly g

    the problem is cantor he don't want any agreement because he think no deal is a good deal for him.he also think
    if they the republicans can keep the economy down it will help them win the election

    December 22, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. anagram_kid

    Why aren't oil companies coming to gether to pay for the pipeline?

    December 22, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Joan

    Well actually there is NOT ENOUOGH TIME for a conference committee to be set up and solve this issue properly before Jan. 1st. Be realistic. It could not be done in several weeks before this so what makes Sen. McConnell and Boehner think there will be a silver bullet now. Also, so far conference committees have just been a waste of time and have failed miserably. The House needs to do a vote on the bill that the Senate passed. Clear and simple. Had they done that in the beginning they could have gone home looking good to the middle class and also showing a bit of compromise finally. Instead, they chose to buck the Senate Republicans decision to support the bill and have come off looking like Scrooge. Whoever made Boehner change his mind and not allow the vote gave him really bad advice. The worst PR right now is the tape of the Republicans walking away while a member was trying to put forth a motion to really vote on the bill. How democratic is that? The House Republicans have boxed themselves in a corner but probably can do the least damage to their brand if they say they realize that there is now not enough time to properly solve the problem so they will pass the two month extension and will come back after the new year ready to compromise and solve it. Then go home and hope the voters forget all this partisanship and gridlock over Christmas.

    December 22, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Whatthehellaretheseclownsthinking!

    I laugh...its high time Senator McConnell says something to the effect. It took two days to say the old tiring "President has Failed" rethoric? I guess your goal of making the Obama a one term persident at all costs just hit a real road block eh?

    December 22, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Matt

    Working Americans have suffered enough from Republicans', both George Bush and those in Congress, failed economic policies.

    Fixed it for you, Mitch.

    December 22, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. SecedingfromTexas

    And you, Mr. McConnell, should crawl back into the hole you have dug for yourself. You shot off your mouth the
    day President Obama was elected, declaring him your personal target of vengeance. Hopefully those words and
    your subsequent actions are coming home to roost on your head. Your little "high fiver" makes it abundantly
    clear what fools you and your cohorts, Boehner, Cantor, and teapots truly are.
    No more begging the President to dig you out of your self-made gutter. This one is on the Republicans, as so
    many "fiascos" have been, and I hope you pay for it by a voter- determined retirement.
    You don't fool us anymore, in fact, you never did.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and that you spend the time re-evaluating your goals for America.

    December 22, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Careful, now. Sen. McConnell is a crafty one. One week ago the discussion was all about the whether or not the pipeline should be in or out. Pay attention folks. Listen to his words, because suddenly the pipeline is automatically included within *any* agreement.

    More importantly, over the course of one weekend the conversation has changed from including the pipeline or not, to how long of extension should we have. Also notice that Republicans have manuevered themselves into appearing to argue for a one year extension, while making it appear as if Democrats only want a two month extension, which reinforces the image that Republicans are the ones who fight for tax cuts, while Democrats fight them.

    The truth is that Republicans vehemently opposed this tax relief one year ago when Democrats proposed it for *two* years, just like the BTC extensions that Republicans wanted. As recently as a month ago, Republicans were united in their stance against extending the tax relief, deceptively arguing that it hurt "job creators" and didn't create jobs. Open your eyes, people because the Republicans have flip-flopped on the issue because they have introduced numerous unrelated amendments on social issues to yet another piece of "must pass" legislation.

    December 22, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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