After the fiasco that occurred earlier this year, regarding politicians’ inability to agree on a deficit – cutting plan, it would seem that, at the moment, U.S. lawmakers are finally close to agree on something. This time, the spotlight is on the payroll tax, which Democrats and Republicans are having a hard time coming to an agreement on its extension.
According to president Obama, a “faction of House Republicans” was blocking the payroll tax measure. Barack Obama stated: “How can we not get that done? I mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things, we can’t do it?”
House Speaker John Boehner has been fighting hard to get the tax measure extended, but Republicans opposed strongly, saying that they are willing to go with a short-term plan, which is only good to avoid the December 31 expiration of the tax break.
Boehner asked Obama to help and urge Republicans to come to an agreement. But, the president told the House Speaker the only option is to schedule a vote on the Senate’s two month extension of the payroll tax, to buy time.
Tom Mann, a congressional scholar with the Brookings Institution, explains that House leaders “have to back down. There’s no real possibility of cutting a deal on a one-year extension before the end of the year. It’s foolish to think otherwise”.
If Congress members cannot agree on a single extension of a tax cut, then what will happen in 2012, when income cuts will expire, automatic reductions in defense and domestic spending are scheduled to become current and the presidential elections will evermore increase the struggle for power between parties?
With this stubbornness to concur on urgent matters, Republicans are losing support fast. A CNN poll taken December 16 – 18, showed that 50 percent of respondents had more confidence in Obama than in congressional Republicans, when it comes to dealing with the urgent matters of the country. Data shows that in six months, the percentage of people disagreeing with the