Facing an end-of-month expiration of the payroll tax holiday, Republicans said they would introduce a backup bill that would extend that tax cut without offsetting its costs with other cuts.
"Because the president and Senate Democratic leaders have not allowed their conferees to support a responsible bipartisan agreement, today House Republicans will introduce a backup plan that would simply extend the payroll tax holiday for the remainder of the year while the conference negotiations continue regarding offsets, unemployment insurance, and the 'doc fix,'" GOP leaders said in a statement.
The AP says this is an "abrupt about-face" for the House GOP and would extend the tax cut for the rest of year.
The AP reports:
"Without action by Congress by the end of the month, payroll taxes will rise for 160 million Americans. The two percentage point tax cut delivers about $20 a week to a worker making $50,000 a year and a tax cut totaling $2,000 this year for someone making a $100,000 salary.
"Democrats were encouraged and said the development could break an impasse over the payroll tax proposal and the other expiring provisions.
"'We've been making the point that when (it comes to) tax cuts for folks at the very top the House Republicans went to great lengths to change their rules to say you don't have to pay for those,' said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. 'And yet they've been saying that when it comes to a short-term, 10-month payroll tax cut for middle-income people all of a sudden you have to pay for it.'"