Payroll Tax Cut: Senate Debates How, Not Whether

Nov 30, 2011 2:03pm

As President Obama pushes for the extension of the payroll tax cut in Scranton, Pa., today, Republicans in the Senate are taking great pains today to make one thing clear: they are for the cut, just not the way to pay for it.

“This is not an argument about whether or not we ought to extend the payroll tax cut that was enacted last year for one year. The issue is how do you pay for that. And we have differences of opinion about that,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor this morning. “Republicans will put aside their misgivings and support this extension not because we believe, as the president does, that another short-term stimulus will turn this economy around, but because we know it will give some relief to struggling workers out there who continue to need it nearly three years into this presidency.”

Republicans are against the Senate Democratic proposal for the extension and expansion of the payroll tax because of the $265 billion bill is paid for by a 3.25 percent surtax on Americans making over $1 million.

Senate Republicans will unveil their proposal on how to pay for the payroll tax cut this afternoon that they say will maintain tax relief without raising taxes on job creators, those who would get hit by the millionaire’s tax within the Democratic proposal.

“We’re not arguing against extending the payroll tax cut,” McConnell said today, “we just think it shouldn’t be punishing job creators to pay for it.”

On the Senate floor today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,  said that the Republican strategy is a “shockingly callous policy,” because it is like throwing “92 percent of American family under the bus, whacking them with a tax increase beginning January 1 to protect the richest of the rich.”

A skeptical Reid said that the Republicans are “very clever and unclear” on how they want the payroll tax cut paid for and cautioned against the Republican proposal due out later today.

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