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Why House Republicans are balking at payroll tax cut

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What else is honesty but saying what you believe and believing what you say?

The (potential) problem for Congressional Republicans is America wants their taxes to stay down. If the House doesn’t pass the Senate bill, this isn’t going to happen. Although there hasn’t been any polling Decoder has seen about what the public wants out of the payroll tax cut debate (or associated measures), MSNBC’s First Read points out that you can figure out where the nation’s political preferences are on this issue pretty clearly:

To understand how House Republicans have backed themselves into a corner on extending the payroll tax cut, two Senate Republicans running in some of the most competitive contests next year are distancing themselves from the House GOP. “The House Republicans’ plan to scuttle the deal to help middle-class families is irresponsible and wrong,” said Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who most likely will run against Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012. “The refusal to compromise now threatens to increase taxes on hard-working Americans and stop unemployment benefits for those out of work.”

And Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who will run against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, added: “What is playing out in Washington, D.C., this week is about political leverage, not about what’s good for the American people. Congress can work out a solution without stopping the payroll tax-cut extension for the middle class.” Bottom line: You know where the politics on this issue are when Brown and Heller are for/against something. Two other veteran senators, Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe, also both up for re-election in states carried by President Obama in ‘08, have joined the chorus of Republicans asking the House GOP to simply vote out the Senate bill.

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