As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

White House Threatens Shutdown Over Payroll Tax

Practicing the very kind of political gamesmanship it accuses Republicans of playing, the White House today indicated President Obama would shut down the government if Republican have not agreed to an extension of the payroll tax cut he supports.

“What the president is not willing to do is leave town or allow Congress to leave town without ensuring that 160 million Americans do not see their taxes go up next year, on average $1,000,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “They should pass a payroll tax cut extension, extension of unemployment insurance, and they can finish the spending bill all before leaving on their vacation.”

The government runs out of money Friday, and Congress must pass either a budget or agree to another “continuing resolution” that keep things afloat while work on the budget continues.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to various reports, is signed on the strategy and is intentionally slow-walking a nearly-completed bipartisan budget deal to try to prevent Congress from acting on it until Republicans agree to a payroll tax cut extension Obama supports.

House Republicans are currently trying to move a payroll tax and unemployment insurance extension bill, but Obama opposes it because it would force him to speed up a decision on whether to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline from Canada into the United States. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline, but Republicans and some unions say it will created jobs.

The White House in recent days has repeatedly bemoaned Republican efforts to tie the Keystone pipeline to the payroll tax bill, charging the GOP with cynically mixing unrelated issues.

Now the White House itself is playing the same type of game – though on a far larger scale – by holding the entire budget hostage to the payroll tax.

Carney said today Obama would sign a CR, but if he gets a budget instead, Carney suggested, Obama will not sign it.

“What we simply cannot allow is the Republicans to take care of the spending bill and leave town because the absolute effect of that will be a tax hike for middle-class Americans,” he said.

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23 Responses to White House Threatens Shutdown Over Payroll Tax

  1. Several questions:

    1. Have they passed a budget, any budget, since Obama took office? Or has the entire government been run on CRs since Jan. 2009?

    2. Why is it a “tax hike” when the Dems propose something, and the “Bush tax breaks” when they talk about the GOP?

    3. What difference does it make if the Keystone Pipeline is bundled into the payroll tax bill? Has this Congress or any Congress in recent history passed a “clean bill”? One that only touches on one topic.

    Along with permanently banning anyone that has ever held a law license from being a member of Congress or the President, we need to pass a Constitutional Amendment requiring that all bills be “clean bills” and not some jumble of crap filled with pork, and that all members of Congress actually read the entire bill, each and every word.

    • Pork-free bills – a kosher Congress…what a wonderful idea and the very same [one] that has passed my mind a thousand times. Never gonna happen, they love lard too much.

      • The less than honorable Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D) California declared upon her commanding the 3rd highest orifice(sic) in the greatest nation on Earth, that she would clean up this political quagmire in short order. The result: An even bigger mess..

  2. They’re bluffing. No way would MrO veto this tax reduction.
    The add-on pipeline bill is a perfect out for MrO; he can claim his hands were tied to the tree-huggers and take credit for the jobs created.

  3. So he stays home while the girls and Michelle fly to Hawaii…effectively costing taxpayers more. Says he will veto if not a clean bill, no budget passed since before 2009. Sounds like he needs to be sent back to Chicago…

  4. A tax hike on middle class americans? Isn’t this tax cut – someone help me here – a reduction in their contributions to social security??? Which isn’t supposed to be a tax, but money put in a “lockbox” for our future? This wasn’t suppose to be welfare, but saving for retirement. Where is the extra money for social security coming from? Oh. Right. Those OTHER taxes.

    This is a horrible, horrible idea, and it’s a slow-worm turn to fully completely turn socials security to welfare. A money transfer. They even admit that they want to “pay” for these cuts with taxes on the rich.

  5. How would Obama know if it was closed or not he never works. This would
    just be another double-dip vacation for them. I am starting to think this two
    plane vacation is planned by Michelle to make her the star by going first with
    all the bells and whistles to herself. She knows it costs taxpayers but neither
    Obama care about the serfs that serve them!

  6. That Keystone add on?? They need time to set up who’s doing what with all that money that’s going be extorted off the top for the Dems..it’s going to happen but they have to get their buddies set up and stories straight..that takes time and for the Repubs to include this in the bill..well that’s just plain dirty politics….

  7. So let me get this straight……

    If we didn’t raise the debt ceiling, then Social Security payments were threatened.

    Um, the payroll tax FUNDS SOCIAL SECURITY. What comes out of your check gets matched by your boss.

    So… we have a system, according to the President, that is just about broke, so lets DECREASE the money going into it…

    Are you serious?