Despite the bitterly divided political environment in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner said that the House “has done its job” to work with the Senate to pass key jobs legislation, including a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut.
Last week on Good Morning America, Vice President Joe Biden told George Stephanopoulos that extension of the payroll tax cut was the “single most urgent thing to do, no excuse” and “should be done now, should be done immediately.”
“Extending the payroll tax cut that the president has called for, the House has already passed the year-long extension,” Boehner said in response on “This Week.” ”We are in a formal conference with the Senate, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to resolve this fairly quickly.”
Boehner once again criticized the Senate for failing to take up jobs measures passed by the House in the past year – and called on President Obama to help move legislation forward.
“We have passed 30 bills in the House that would help get our economy moving again. Twenty-seven of them are sitting over in the United States Senate,” Boehner said. “What the president could do … would be to work with us to lean on the Senate to take up these bills.”
But he deflected criticism that the House is passing bills that they know will be dead on arrival in the Senate, with members of his own Republican caucus faulting the House for lack of coordination between the two branches.
“We can’t control what the Senate does or doesn’t do,” Boehner told me. “We do talk to them, and I’ve talked to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid about moving these bills.”
“The United States House has done its job. We’ve moved these bills,” Boehner added. “It’s time for the Senate to do their job.”
Boehner told me he believes the House can push the Senate to act on jobs measures by winning public support for their initiatives – despite historically low approval ratings for Congress.
“Maybe we can build enough public support where they feel like they have to take these up, things like the Keystone pipeline, one of those 30 bills that we’ve passed,” Boehner said.