Today, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that Senate Democrats would not interrupt their vacation to return to Washington and work with Republicans to ensure American families and small businesses are not hit with a job-crushing tax hike in 12 days.  But Republicans are not the only ones saying the full-year payroll tax cut extension must be done before Congress goes on vacation – President Obama has made that clear many times:

  • President Obama: “Congress should not go home for vacation until it finds a way to avoid hitting 160 million Americans with a tax hike on January 1st.” (12/17/11)
  • President Obama: “This Congress cannot and should not leave for vacation until that -- until they have made sure that that tax increase doesn’t happen. Let me repeat that: Congress should not and cannot go on vacation before they have made sure that working families aren't seeing their taxes go up by a thousand dollars and those who are out there looking for work don’t see their unemployment insurance expire.” (12/15/11)
  • President Obama: “[T]he bottom line is -- is that we are going to stay here as long as it takes to make sure that the American people’s taxes don't go up on January 1st and to make sure that folks who desperately need unemployment insurance get that help.  And -- and there’s absolutely no excuse for us not getting it done.” (12/8/11)
  • President Obama: “We need to get this done.  And I expect that it’s going to get done before Congress leaves.  Otherwise, Congress may not be leaving, and we can all spend Christmas here together.” (12/2/11)

Like President Obama and several other Democrats, Republicans believe the American people “can’t wait” for Congress to act on a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut.  The Senate-passed measure – which extends the payroll tax cut for only two months – “creates uncertainty and will cause problems for people who are trying to create jobs in the private sector,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said today.  

Speaker Boehner also announced that Republicans will hold a vote this evening on legislation requesting a formal conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the payroll tax cut extension.  Sen. Reid should honor President Obama’s request, and work with Republicans to extend the payroll tax break for the American people - instead of worrying about a holiday break for Senate Democrats.  The clock is ticking.