Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley says he’s frustrated with the “political games” both Democrats and Republicans have played with a measure to extend the payroll tax cut. The Republican-led House today rejected a Senate-passed bill that would extend a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for two months.
Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, said the loss of the tax cut – which benefits 160 million Americans – would hurt Iowans’ pocket books. “The average Iowa family would see a tax increase of $1,426 next year if these middle class tax cuts are not renewed,” Braley said in a conference call with reporters.
Braley has voted for the tax cut extension each time the issue has come up in the House for a vote. “I think it says volumes about how much partisan politics has consumed the process here in Washington when I was one of only 14 members of Congress, out of 535, to support both the GOP and the bipartisan compromise plan,” Braley said.
House Republicans voted to move to formal negotiations with the Senate to resolve the differences between their two bills. The House has passed a one-year extension, while the Senate approved the short-term deal. “As with most things, Washington politics keeps getting in the way of extending this tax cut,” Braley said. “This issue is far too important for our country’s economic recovery to let political games get in the way.”
For now, Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate have insisted on the Senate bill and have vowed not to appoint any conferees to the negotiations.