Dear Commons Community,
All the media outlets are headlining the news that the U.S. House of Representatives has reached an agreement to extend the payroll tax credit. The New York Times for instance is reporting:
“Bowing under intense pressure from members of their own party, House Republican leaders agreed Thursday to accept a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut, beating a hasty retreat from a showdown that Republicans increasingly saw as a threat to their election opportunities next year.
John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House, announced on Thursday that Republicans had reached an agreement on the payroll tax cut. Under a deal reached between House and Senate leaders, the House will now approve as early as Friday the two-month extension of a payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits approved by the Senate last Saturday, and the Senate will appoint members of a House-Senate conference committee to negotiate legislation to extend both benefits through 2012.
House Republicans — who rejected an almost identical deal on Tuesday — collapsed under the political rubble that has accumulated over the week, much of it from their own party, worried that the blockade would do serious damage to their appeal to voters.”
Would it not have been more statesmanlike if they had approved this extension because it is beneficial to American families in these hard economic times and not simply to prevent damage to their party’s election opportunities.