Even without seeing specific details of House Republicans' payroll-tax plan released this morning, Senate Democrats today shot it down, claiming that Republicans are just playing "games" with the need to extend the tax cut before it expires Dec. 31.
"From what I'm told, it's the holiday season and they've made this very serious proposal to help the middle class into a Christmas tree," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said today, "and a Christmas tree with special goodies for certain special interests."
Those "special goodies" would mean the inclusion of the Keystone pipeline project that has drawn a presidential rejection, but not explicit veto threat, by President Obama if it is included in this bill.
Schumer suggested that the inclusion of the provision shows that House Republicans know they don't have the votes on their bill, even without the Keystone provision.
"If they are playing games with this or they are putting in poison pills because they can't pass it otherwise, it shows the kind of regard they have for middle-class concerns," Schumer said. "They don't have the support and that's their problem."
Schumer said the Senate is still waiting for a viable alternative from the House or the Senate Republicans.
"We have lots of ideas for viable alternatives, we just need a dancing partner and thus far the House hasn't given us one, nor have the Senate Republicans stepped forward," Schumer said.
The Senate has announced it will hold votes this afternoon on the dueling Senate proposals for the payroll-tax holiday extension.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Senate Democratic-tweaked proposal as announced this week. And the Senate will vote again on the Senate Republican payroll-tax cut proposal that received only 20 Republican votes when it was defeated last week.
Both measures will likely fail in the Senate.