Entries in House Repbulicans (2)


Senate Dems: Payroll Passage Is Not a Guarantee in the Senate Yet

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Democratic leadership cautioned Thursday afternoon that they are not breathing a collective sigh of relief just yet over the payroll tax deal.

At a late afternoon press conference, Senate Democrats waved the red flag, indicating that they believe the votes are not there for the deal to pass yet in the Senate.  They pointed their fingers at Republicans in the Senate who are “withholding their support” of the bill, as it was negotiated late Wednesday night by the conference committee.

Not one Senate Republican on the payroll conference committee has signed off on the agreement, objecting because they believe they were shut out of the final negotiations on the agreement.

“Senate Republicans are MIA,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said.

“This is a bipartisan agreement with good things for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.  “I send a simple message to my Republican colleagues: Let’s get this done as quickly as possible.”

“You have a situation where for once the House Republicans are negotiating a responsible package and standing by it, but the Senate Republican leadership seems to be linking arms with the far right,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY., said.

The next step is for both houses of Congress to pass the agreement, starting with the House of Representatives.  Reid said after the House votes on Friday, the Senate will vote on the bill, likely Friday afternoon.  The bill needs 60 votes to get through the Senate, meaning it can only pass with Republican support.

But Republican support in the Senate isn’t the only thing Reid should worry about.  Two Democratic Senators have already announced their intention to vote against the bill Friday.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA., announced on the Senate floor Friday afternoon that he’ll vote against the payroll tax deal because of debt, and urged his congressional colleagues to “stop digging.”

“I will be voting against the conference report when it comes to the floor of this body tomorrow,” Warner said.  “The payroll tax cut that’s been proposed isn’t being paid for.  It will add $100 billion to the debt.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVA., also announced on the Senate floor Friday afternoon that the deal will not get his vote.

“I voted for the idea the first time around because I thought as it was proposed to me that it might protect more jobs or save jobs, but I don’t think that we have seen much evidence that that’s happened,” Manchin said.  “So I decided to stop throwing good money after bad and stop jeopardizing Social Security.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Rep. Stutzman: 'Long Way to Go' on Budget Talks with Obama

Bill Clark/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans’ meeting at the White House Wednesday failed to produce any breakthroughs on the budget, and participants described a “frosty” and “frank” session that one member of Congress likened to “group therapy.”

On ABC’s Top Line webcast Wednesday, freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., a member of the House Budget Committee, said the meeting was “cordial,” and suggested to him that President Obama is “very serious about the debt.”

But he said the president is still not committing to budget cuts beyond what he’s proposed in the past. And Republicans, for their part, aren’t any more open to new taxes than they’ve been previously.

“He said that he made specific cuts in his budget and has put those on the table. But ultimately there was no discussion about whether, dollar for dollar, how far we’re going to spread this out over the next 10 years,” said Stutzman.

“So there’s a lot of maneuvering. I felt like this was more of a get-to-know-you type of a meeting more than, let’s sit down and negotiate. So we’ve got a long way to go. But I felt that it was a good step, and I appreciated his invitation to us.”

He said there was no progress in negotiations over taxes: “As far as an out-and-out tax increase, there was no discussion about it, because I think House Republicans had made our position clear, that we don’t have a tax problem in Washington, we have a spending problem.”

Stutzman said that “good leadership” would demand that a debt limit increase is agreed to well in advance of early August, when the Treasury Department has said the U.S. would be forced to begin defaulting on debt without congressional action.

“But you know how this town works, it seems like there’s a lot of accusations,” Stutzman said. “This isn’t just a government shutdown, like we were dealing with in the [continuing resolution]. This is an economic -- there are economic ramifications here if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. But also we have to show the American people and the world that we’re serious about controlling spending.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio