Senate Republican frustration mounting with House GOP
December 21st, 2011
01:34 PM ET
11 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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Maybe that should read Bagger Baghdad Bob, in honor of the right wing delusion.

    December 21, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    So when Steny Hoyer tried to bring up a motion on the House floor to vote on the Senate's extension of payroll tax cuts, the mic was cut and then the feed to C-Span was cut. C-Span said they have no control over the cameras in the House, only the Speaker does. Nice, huh? You have to ask yourself, is this what we voted for – political games that will hurt Americans and our economy? At least that's what I ask.

    December 21, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. FIELD1stSGT

    Who but Democrats would pass something but for two months. This government and it's supporters are eat up with the dumb nutcases.

    December 21, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Geez, the uberpartisan gems just keep flowing from "Four and the Door". Apparently, he has misplaced his meds, so his disorder compels him excrete great blobs of stinking hypocrisy: "The Federal Government has more important things to be doing than playing politics." Yet the rabid dogs cheered when the [R]s in the House recently took up the issue of the national motto and other such ideological piffle. I guess when the [R]s play vapid politics, it soothes the soul of the BEAST. I'm sure 160 million Americans will rest easy knowing that the money they DON'T have would at least have shown the name GOD, if they did have it.

    Dude, you are a hypocrit, but you might not want to be so abjectly moronic about it.........

    December 21, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    @Marine Vet – sadly many of us aren't getting the message. They'll turn around and do the same thing to themselves and the rest of us in 2012. My wingnut sister, who only gets her news from Fox, has no idea of the obstructionism on behalf of her party over the last 3 years. Very sad that this is the state of our media today. So many of us are just plain uninformed.

    December 21, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. DumbasRocks [R]s

    You know things are bad when one contingent of the bleeding-heart [R]ightwing malignancy thinks that the other contingent has gone too far "right".

    And from "Four and the Door" we have this precious gem, complaining about Obama: "That's why he so easily changes his mind on most things." I assume "Four" knows that flip-flop-flap Romney is running for lead Teatard and would gladly vote for him - it is amazing how a rightwinger's foot is drawn by some mysterious force towards its mouth.....I rejoice that unbridled hypocrisy free-flows like mucas from the mouths of the teatrded....

    December 21, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Squigman

    Wait til election time. Your frustration may turn into unemployment, as it rightfully should.

    December 21, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Yikes!

    @ Four ... No, actually the House GOP is winning. They are the only group with leadership that's not afraid to make a decision.

    Really? Then maybe you can find a Fox News way to explain why they couldn't make a decision on the $4 Billion dollar budget reduction deal and instead settled for much less with AUTOMATIC cuts? I don't call that decision making, just dodging responsibility on the really tough problems.

    By the way, it is tough to compromise. Telling the President that we'll agree with you when you do what we say isn't compromise. I know this won't get through your protective tin foil cap but I felt like writting it anyways.

    December 21, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. John

    What can I say that John Boehner and Eric Cantor and the TEA Party Member are Idiot. We all know that. But what they are doing Is making all Republican to look like Idiot.

    December 21, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Charles W. Skinner

    And, WHY exactly, should the House CONSERVATIVES listen to ANYTHING the RINOs in the Senate have to say? The Senate CONSISTENTLY kowtows to Dingy Harry and the Liberals, and regularly screws the Amercian People in the process (Dodd-Frank, anyone?).

    The Democrat Controlled Senate had the opportunity to provide certainty by passing the House Bill ensuring 1 YEAR of lower taxes. It Failed to do so. Either Reid needs to bring back the Senate to negotiate a 1 YEAR extension, or Reid has to get his Senate to pass the House's prior bill. This is REID's problem. Blame it on the Senate DEMOCRAT Party.

    December 21, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Alex

    Who need Al-Qaeda when the Teaparty is the enemy of the American working folks?!

    December 21, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Squealy

    "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."

    Okay, then it isn't "really" a tax increase, it is just a lapse of a tax break. Hmmmm. Where might I have heard this argument before? Oh, yeah. It was over the fight last winter to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. You all remember, right? Something about not raising taxes on the "job creators", wasn't it?

    Well, I may be a dem, but I not blind to the blatant hypocrisy coming from both sides of the table where this issue is concerned. The only difference is, the working folks really need the tax break – some just to keep food on the table at holiday time, whereas the wealthy would get along just fine without the extra money, and no jobs would be "un-created".

    December 21, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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