Democrats are out there saying Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class. But all Harry Reid would have to do is call the Senate back and hammer out the differences in a House-Senate conference. Most people have to work the week before Christmas. Most people also have to work the week after Christmas. Why don’t Senators? Of course, President Obama doesn’t care, since he’s scoring political points, as pointed out at Heritage.
In a rare appearance in the White House press room yesterday, President Barack Obama reiterated his message, blaming Washington’s inaction on “a faction of Republicans in the House” and their “refusal to cooperate” with the Senate — as if it’s the job of Members of Congress to go along and get along for the sake of advancing the President’s agenda, regardless of whether it’s the right move for America. As a reminder, this is the same President who has not met with House Republican leadership in five months and is now praising the grand accomplishment of a Senate that has failed to pass a budget for nearly 1,000 days under Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) direction.
As you might not be surprised to learn, there is, of course, more to the story than the President lets on. Here’s what you need to know about the latest standstill in Washington that, unfortunately, follows much of the same order of business that America has witnessed for the past year.
In a matter of days, the payroll tax “holiday” will expire, meaning higher taxes for working Americans. At the same time, fees for physicians and hospitals providing Medicare services will be severely cut and additional weeks of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed will run out. None of this was unexpected. This was not an unforeseen calamity that caught Washington by surprise. They saw it coming, and it’s been on their list of things to do since last December–yet here we are waiting for a resolution and watching as Republicans and Democrats point fingers at each other.