Despite disagreement in Congress over how to pay for extending payroll tax cuts, a Senate Republican said today he expects the extension sought by President Obama to pass before they expire for most Americans at the end of the month.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said today on “Fox News Sunday” that “probably” both the tax cuts and an extension of unemployment benefits will go through.
“The question the American people ought to ask is where is the backbone in Washington to actually pay for these extensions in the year the money’s spent,” Coburn said.
Democrats have not proposed a realistic way to pay for the payroll tax cuts, he said. He opposes a slight increase in taxes on millionaires to pay for it.
“Whether or not we continue a reduction in the amount of taxes that come to Social Security, that’s one thing, paying for it — we have so much waste in Washington to take 10 years to pay for it is ridiculous,” Coburn said.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will propose a compromise plan to extend the payroll tax.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., also in “Fox News Sunday,” said Reid called him about it Saturday night.
“It’ll be paid for. It will be paid for in a way that’s credible and serious. It will represent a compromise from what was voted on last week. It’s a serious attempt to move this ball forward,” he said.
Conrad said extending the payroll tax cuts is necessary to keep the economic recovery moving.
“Most economists have said if you don’t extend the payroll tax cuts you reduce economic growth and reduce jobs in this country by 1 million,” he said.
If the payroll tax cut is not extended, middle-class families will see their taxes go up by $1,000, President Obama said in his weekly address.
Obama urged Congress to act on the payroll tax cut before the Christmas recess and accused Republicans of trying to raise taxes on working Americans during the holiday season.