Congressional Republican leaders are taking a lot of heat for their their rejection of the payroll tax cut extension passed by the Senate, but one person is encouraging Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to stick to their guns–Queens Congressman Bob Turner. In a letter to Speaker Boehner and Congressman Cantor today, Congressman Turner told them to keep fighting the good fight. “I am writing you today to ask you to continue fighting for the one year extension of the payroll tax holiday, and to convince the Senate that doing the hard work necessary to come to an agreement on a bill that will help our citizens long term, is much more important than a vacation,” Congressman Turner wrote.
The Senate bill was a bipartisan effort negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It provides for a two month extension of the payroll tax cut, which is due to expire at the end of the year. A two month extension would allow politicians to continue to negotiate the terms of a one year extension after the holiday recess. Speaker Boehner is against the idea because he believes it’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
“Everybody’s already agreed that the best policy is a one-year extension,” Speaker Boehner told reporters today.
Congressman Turner agrees.
“Over the last several years, taxpayers have been locked in uncertaintly due to Congress’ use of stopgap measures as a way to temporarily fix our economic issues,” the congressman wrote in his letter. “This approach has shattered consumer confidence and stalled our country’s economic growth.”
If the payroll tax cut expires, it will cost taxpayers an estimated $40 per paycheck. President Barack Obama blasted House Republicans who voted against the bill in a press conference this afternoon.
“Has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can’t do it?” President Obama said. ”Enough is enough.”
Republican foes of the payroll tax cut extension bill aren’t just facing criticism from the White House, they’re also being dressed down by prominent members of their own party including John McCain and Karl Rove. Polls show a majority of voters are in favor of a payroll tax cut extension.