Entries in deal (4)


House Republicans Cave on Payroll Tax Cuts

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Republican leaders have decided to accept a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, sources told ABC News on Thursday, preventing a hike in taxes just nine days before the tax break expires for 160 million Americans.

House GOP leaders appeared to be adopting a compromise suggested by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the two-month extension in exchange for the Senate appointing members to a conference committee, which will negotiate a longer-term solution. The proposal won a nod of approval from President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

House Republican leaders are expected to present this proposal to their members in a 5 p.m. conference call.

The bill could be passed, potentially, by unanimous consent, which would not require the full House to return to a vote.

Obama on Thursday assailed House Republicans for a "ridiculous Washington standoff" and stepped up pressure on them to pass a two-month extension bill that sailed through the Senate by a bipartisan vote. The president, who delayed his vacation to Hawaii with his family because of the stalemate, was surrounded by individuals who wrote to the White House detailing how the end of the payroll tax break would affect their lives.

House Republicans faced increasing pressure, even from their Senate counterparts, to find a compromise quickly. Outwardly, the House GOP leadership showed no outward sign of caving in, reiterating defiantly that they would not support the Senate bill.

"The fact is, we can do better," Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a news conference. "It's time for us to sit down and have a serious negotiation and solve this problem."

But internally, even rank and file House Republicans were beginning to break away from House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership's insistence that Congress approve a year-long deal to extend the payroll tax cut, instead urging the speaker to consider a short-term deal.

All week long, conservatives ranging from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to Karl Rove took shots at Boehner and the House GOP for holding out for a long-term extension.

Senior Democrats on Thursday pounced on Republicans for not agreeing to the two-month extension.

"Republicans have been arguing about process and politics," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said. "The stakes are too high to be arguing about politics and process. The Republican contention that the two-month compromise somehow is unworkable is simply untrue."

If members of Congress couldn't come together on a deal by the end of next week, 160 million American workers would have seen a 2 percentage point increase in their taxes, starting Jan. 1, raising the overall tax burden to 6.2 percent. Three million people who are receiving long-term unemployment benefits would also see their benefits drop. The gridlock also impacts Medicare, which will likely lower its reimbursements to doctors.

The payroll tax cuts, passed by George W. Bush's administrations are popular on both sides of the political aisle. Washington experienced a similar gridlock in 2010 when the time came to renew the cuts.

Conservatives have lashed out at House Republicans for creating a "fiasco" that puts the party in a negative light and virtually hands over the win to Obama and Democrats.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


House Passes Short-Term Deal, Extends Gov't Funding Through Thursday

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The House voted early Saturday morning to approve a short-term bridge and avoid a government shutdown. Although the vote was after midnight, the legislation was designed to retroactively fund the 40-minute lapse in funding.

The vote was approved by a bipartisan count of 348-70. Twenty-eight Republicans and 42 Democrats voted against the bill; fifteen members missed the vote.

When he announced the compromise late Friday evening, House Speaker John Boehner said he was pleased that he was able to come to an agreement with Sen. Harry Reid and the White House on a deal “that will in fact cut spending and will keep our government open.”

“As you all know, this has been a long discussion and a long fight, but we fought to keep government spending down because it really will in fact help create a better environment for job creators in our country,” Boehner said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Deal Or No Deal? Shutdown Showdown Comes Down to The Wire  

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With a little more than a day to go to avert a government shutdown, both sides are still at loggerheads on a bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

Negotiators worked through the night and President Obama said a 90-minute Oval Office meeting with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was “productive.”

“I thought the meetings were frank, they were constructive and what they did was narrow the issues and clarify the issues that are still outstanding,” Obama said, adding, “I remain confident that if we are serious about getting something done, we should be able to complete the deal and get it passed and avert a shutdown.”

Reid said he has “confidence that we can get this done,” but emphasized “we are not there yet.” Boehner, meanwhile, referred to “some honest differences” that continue to prolong the standoff.

“I want to reiterate that there is no agreement on a number and there is no agreement on the policy,” Boehner said Wednesday night. “But there’s an intent on both sides to continue to work together to try to resolve this.”

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hears that negotiators are still a few billion dollars and several policy riders away from a deal. And in his exclusive interview with Speaker Boehner before Wednesday's White House meeting, the Ohio Republican said he and his GOP counterparts would keep “fighting for the largest cuts that we can.”

“The Democrats controlled the House last year, they controlled the Senate.…And we had a Democrat in the White House. They should have done this budget last year,” Boehner told Stephanopoulos. “Now, we’ve kept the government open while cutting about $10 billion worth of spending.…We’re cleaning up last year’s mess.” 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boehner: Revenue Increases 'On the Table' If It Means Big 2012 Budget Deal

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- If considering revenue increases leads to a big 2012 budget deal for Republicans then so be it, Speaker John Boehner told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

“I’ll put everything on the table. I think Washington has a spending problem. I don’t think it has a revenue problem. I’m not interested in raising taxes on the American people. But if it takes leaving it on the table to have the conversation, I’ll have the conversation,” he said.

Boehner said Congress is done kicking “the can down the road” and said it’s time to follow in Rep. Paul Ryan’s footsteps with his $6.2 trillion in cuts. 

“Paul Ryan did a marvelous job in outlining how we can reform this government.  How we can put it on a path to prosperity.  And I’m proud of the work that he did,” Boehner said.

Proud of all the work, including replacing Medicare? Republicans ran ads against the president’s healthcare plan saying it would cut $500 billion from Medicare.

“If you look at what Paul Ryan’s doing we’re talking about transforming Medicare and making sure that it exists. You know what the greatest single threat to Medicare is?  Doing nothing. Doing nothing is the greatest threat to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” he said.

“We make clear that no senior and no one 55 or older will be affected by any of these changes. But for those that are 54 and under we’re going to have to make modifications to these programs or they will not exist.”

Boehner said he was “begging” President Obama for months to “lock arms” and address reforms– but said the president told him “we’ll see.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio