Guthrie to U.S. Senate: Why punt when you could have scored on payroll tax cut?

12/20/2011 07:21 AM

The U.S. House Republicans’ decision to turn down the Senate’s proposal on extending the payroll tax cuts for two months is necessary to offer stability and take responsibility for more than just temporary fixes, said Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green.

The House is expected to vote down the Senate’s measure Tuesday.

Guthrie told Pure Politics early Tuesday morning that the Senate took the quick way out instead of finding a way to extend the break on Social Security payroll taxes. Instead of going along with the Senate’s extension for two months, the House Republicans are pushing a package of provisions with a full year of the payroll tax cut such as an extension of unemployment benefits —with some tweaks — plus a two-year extension of Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors.

House Republicans are bracing for political backlash expected once they vote down the two-month extension of a tax cut.

“This seems to play into the president’s political scenario — that he wants to blame the House of Representatives. But my point is, it’s time to govern,” Guthie said.

And he said in that case, the Senate failed by passing its bill and going home instead of being willing to negotiate further with the House.

“The Senate bill is no more than punting at a football game when yo have the opportunity to score,” Guthrie said.

The Senate voted for the two-month extension on Saturday 89-10 — with both of Kentucky’s Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul voting for it. McConnell was credited for helping broker the deal.

“I think he thought that was the best he could get out of the Senate,” Guthrie said of McConnell. “I have not personally talked to him. But he has said he supports the position of putting conferees together.”

Guthrie blamed Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid for resisting a conference committee between Republicans and Democrats to hammer out how to pay for a full year extension of the payroll tax holiday.

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