Most of the House of Representatives left for the holidays yesterday after House Republicans rejected a bipartisan Senate compromise to extend the payroll tax cut that is expiring at the end of the year. Several Republican senators took the House GOP to task, with Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) calling the House’s action “irresponsible and wrong,” while Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said the standoff is “harming the Republican party.”
Now their concern has migrated into the wider conservative movement. In an editorial today, the notoriously right-wing Wall Street Journal called the GOP’s strategy “a fiasco,” saying “the GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.”
On Fox News last night, both the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer continued the hand-wringing, with Krauthammer saying that “the Republicans have been entirely outplayed.” “Ultimately, the Republicans will cave,” Krauthammer predicted. Watch it:
Allowing the payroll tax cut to expire would, according to several economic analyses, knock a substantial amount off of U.S. GDP growth next year and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. While House Republicans claim that they are actually interested in extending the tax cut, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) assigned members who oppose the cut entirely to negotiate with the Senate.