The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Today the House will vote to reject the Senate’s irresponsible two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and move to conference to find a year-long extension. Yesterday experts said the Senate bill could create “substantial problems”, adding confusion and higher costs for employers and employees. In this tough economy, people shouldn’t have to worry about their taxes going up in the coming year. Workers, employers and doctors need some certainty from Washington, not more Washington disfunction.

We need to come together in a responsible manner to find common ground where we can accomplish everyone’s goal of a year-long payroll tax extension. As Leader Cantor said yesterday, “It is time for the Senate to come back to town and do what it is the President said we should be doing, which is provide that yearlong guarantee that taxes are not going to go up on working people.”

Today In History: In 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley received his draft notice for the United States Army.

Birthdays: Jonah Hill, Andrei Markov, Nicole DeBoer, and Dick Wolf

Happy Hanukkah!

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: House Republicans Continue To Work Toward A Responsible One Year Extension

Speaker Boehner: A Two Month Extension Creates More Uncertainty For Job Creators, Doesn’t Get The Job Done. The Ohio Republican said in a sit-down interview with USA TODAY that the differences between the House and Senate could be resolved before the benefits expire Dec. 31. "The president said we shouldn't be going on vacation until we get our work done. I agree with him," he said. "We can get this accomplished and we should." … House Republicans oppose the short-term extension as bad policy."I think that creates even more uncertainly for job creators, it's just time for Congress to get its job done," Boehner said. They instead are advocating for a one-year extension, which the House approved earlier this month. Senate leaders and the White House also support a one-year extension … USA Today

Leader Cantor: Republicans Are Committed To Ensuring No One Faces A Tax Increase In The Year Ahead. "We are going to stay here and do our work until we guarantee that no one faces a tax increase in the year ahead," Cantor insisted Monday. Richmond Times-Dispatch

Leader Cantor: The Senate’s Two Month Plan Will Create More Uncertainty, Confusion, and Hurt Workers. The House is committed to continuing to work until Congress approves a yearlong guarantee to the working people of this country that they are not going to have a tax increase. The two month plan that was passed by the Senate has now been deemed unworkable by the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, who sent this letter up to Capitol Hill basically saying that the Senate plan will provide more uncertainty, confusion and hurt workers. I don't think anybody really thinks it is a good way to implement policy on a two month basis. Again, that's what we are saying. It is time for the Senate to come back to town and do what it is the President said we should be doing, which is provide that yearlong guarantee that taxes are not going to go up on working people. CNN

Experts Say A Two Month Payroll Tax Holiday Cannot Be Implemented Properly. Payroll processors are warning that a two-month payroll tax-cut extension passed by the U.S. Senate would be difficult to implement. Payroll companies can react quickly to a yearlong extension for the first paycheck of 2012 or adjust the second paycheck to correct problems, said Pete Isberg, president of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, an industry group. Payroll providers underscore that they don’t like a second consecutive year of December tax law changes or the Senate-backed two-month extension of the tax cut that could create unprecedented complications. Bloomberg

Chairman Jeb Hensarling: Small Businesses Say The Senate’s Bill Is Unworkable. By in large, everyone in Congress has agreed we need to extend this temporary payroll tax holiday. Here is where the debate is. The Senate wants to punt the ball; they want to do a 60 day extension. House Republicans, frankly, this is one of the few times we have agree with the president, we want to extend it for a full year. That is what the American people asked for; this is what the president asked for. House Republicans stand ready to work over the holidays, like many other Americans have to do, to get this done. … Talk to the people who actually have to do this. People need to get outside the beltway and talk to the small businesses who are actually responsible for this and say it is totally unworkable. Once again, it’s Washington not listening to the people who actually create the jobs. CNN’s American Morning

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Representing 40,000 Small Businesses Say A 2 Month Extension Will Create “Substantial Problems, Confusion and Costs.”

State Of Play (2): Pelosi Attempts To Thwart Regular Order

Pelosi Says She Will Refuse To Appoint Conferees - Pelosi said she would not appoint House Democratic conferees if a conference committee was approved … The Hill

Regulatory Row: EPA Regulations Threaten Jobs Across The Midwest, Virginia and West Virginia

New EPA Regulations Cause Power Plants To Shutdown, Cost Jobs. An Associated Press analysis has found that more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close because of the new, more stringent regulations. Another 36 plants are at risk of closing. … The effect is greatest in the Midwest and in coal belt states such as Virginia and West Virginia, where dozens of units are likely to shut down. Take Giles County, where American Electric Power's Glen Lyn plant is located, and where 44 jobs are on the line. … But that's just one concern involving a plant and workers whose community contribution is "hard to quantify." "They've done so much donation-wise for local causes ... And they're really good people working there," he said. "They're coaches in Little League sports, involved in the Parent-Teacher Organization — you lose those kind of people, it's tough." And they're good jobs — stable, well-paying positions with good benefits in places where such things can be hard to find. … On the surface, the loss of 60 jobs at AEP's Kammer Plant near Moundsville, W.Va., may also seem small, said City Manager Allen Hendershot. The plant is outside the limits of the city of 9,000, so it has no direct impact on the budget. Yet there's a trickle-down effect on companies that supply materials and services for its day-to-day operation. "It's hard to put an exact number on it," Hendershot says. "It's the coal mine jobs, the trucking jobs, the maintenance jobs." The Associated Press

Keeping Tabs

Blogs Bash Obama's 4th Best President Claim. Obama’s comments in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that his legislative and foreign policy accomplishments top all but three former presidents has sparked fierce blowback among right-leaning blogs. The president’s claim didn’t air in the show’s Dec. 11 television broadcast but was included in the full interview video that CBS posted on its website that day. The “60 Minutes Overtime” video shows Obama telling correspondent Steve Kroft: “The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.” Politico

GOP Health Care Reforms