The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Last night, Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor called on Senate Democrats to do the right thing, and join House Republicans to enact a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut, without adding to the deficit or raising taxes. Democrats have stalled and slow walked the House Republicans' responsible payroll plan; without ever offering a real plan of their own. It is time for Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi to stop playing games and extend the payroll tax for a year. As Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor stated, “Republicans support a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits – fully paid for, as the president himself has said it must be. The American people have been clear that paying for these measures through tax increases on small business job creators, as the president and Senate Democrats have proposed, is a nonstarter.”

Today In History: In 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York's Kennedy Airport--and "Beatlemania" arrived. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

Birthdays: Rep. Doc Hastings, Rep. Allen West, Rep. Stephen Fincher, Rep. Michael Grimm, Garth Brooks, Chris Rock, Rachel Sibner, and Charles Dickens

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Speaker Boehner & Leader Cantor Call On Democrats To Step Up, Stop Playing Games On Payroll Tax Cut

Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor: Senate Democrats Have A Responsibility To Tell The American People What Spending Cuts They Would Support. Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) released a joint statement today urging swifter action from the conference committee and playing up the perceived division among Democrats that has surfaced since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week he would be working on separate backup legislation. “If Senate Democratic leaders will not allow their conferees to support the bipartisan spending cuts passed by the House, they have a responsibility to tell the American people what spending cuts they are willing to support,” Boehner and Cantor said. “If they aren’t willing to do either, then the American people will be right to question Senate Democratic leaders’ seriousness about actually getting a full-year payroll tax cut enacted.” Roll Call

Speaker Boehner: Senate Democrats Simply Don’t Want To Cut Spending. We had reasonable offsets in spending that, most of them, came from the president's own budget. And so we've done our work. We're in conference with the Senate trying to come to agreement. But it's pretty clear that our Senate colleagues want no part of cutting spending. Now, if we're going to extend the payroll tax credit, and we're going to extend unemployment benefits with reforms, and take care of the so-called doc fix, we're going to have to offset this spending. But my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't want to offset this spending. So it's -- we're in conference with the Senate. Hopefully we'll be able to come to an agreement quickly. NewsHour

Leader Cantor: House Republicans Are Ready To Act On A Year Long Extension, The Onus Is On Senator Reid. “I want to see the payroll tax holiday extended for the year. This is where the House Republicans were in December. We are not a party that believes we ought to take more money out of the paychecks of the people who are working right now. The onus is on Harry Reid.”… “There is an issue here that Washington has a duty to the beneficiaries of the Social Security Trust Fund. The payroll tax is just that: it is monies that go into the Social Security Trust Fund. We should not be violating the fund. I think most people do get that Washington spends entirely too much money. We can come up with some savings given that $3 trillion a year that Washington's spends. We can come up with some savings so that the people out there with jobs know that their taxes are not going to go up.” Fox Business

Payroll CEO: Time Is Of The Essence, A Two Month Payroll Extension Makes No Sense. But here is the biggest mystery to those of us who have to live under the laws Congress passes. Why a two month extension? It makes no sense. It looks as though they have no idea how payroll works or how information is collected or submitted; and they did not ask for input from anyone involved in the process. Employers reconcile Social Security every three months on Form 941, and employees reconcile every twelve months on Form W-2. Anyone processing payroll will either produce two W-2s for each employee (one for the first two months and another for the last ten months), or the Form W-2 will change dramatically to collect both periods on the same form. The Form 941 will also require changes, or the information cannot be reconciled. Since the IRS only knows how much you make over 12 months, how can they reconcile one percentage for two months and another for 10 months? Without major changes and more detailed reporting, it is impossible. … On behalf of employers who process their own payroll, those of us in the payroll industry and the employees who depend on us to get their paychecks to them correctly and on time, I am pleading with our leaders to lead. Do not delay the decision on the payroll tax to the deadline. Make the decision now. The Hill

The Economy: The Administration Attempts To Spin The Drop In Labor Force Participation As An “ Economic Positive”

Rhetoric: Carney: Well, let’s look at some of the facts, which include that a number -- a large percentage of that is due to younger people getting more education, which in the end is an economic positive. WH Press Briefing

Reality: 2.8 Million Frustrated Americans Have Given Up Looking For Work, “Making The Nation’s Recovery Appear Better Than It Is.” Bean’s predicament is not unlike that of many people who have a high school education or less. Not only were they hit especially hard by the recession but they have continued losing ground in the recovery that has followed. By disproportionate numbers, these Americans have given up looking for work, making the nation’s recovery appear better than it is. The Washington Post

Unemployment Would Be Nearly 10% If The 2.8 Million People Who Want Jobs But Have Stopped Looking Were Counted. If the unemployment rate counted the 2.8 million people who want jobs but have stopped looking, it would sit at 9.9 percent rather than its current 8.3 percent. The Washington Post

Economist: The Labor Market Is Worse Than The Unemployment Rate Suggests. The lowest U.S. jobless rate in three years hasn’t changed the long-term picture for millions of Americans: about 5.5 million haven’t worked for 27 weeks or more and are still looking -- making up 42.9 percent of the total unemployed pool. Another 2.8 million are too discouraged to actively look for work in recent weeks or have other reasons for not wanting to be in the labor force, according to non-seasonally adjusted data released Feb. 3 by the Labor Department. “The labor market is still worse than the official unemployment rate would suggest,” said Henry Mo, an economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in New York. Bloomberg

Regulatory Row

Rep. Renee Ellmers Op-Ed: The Administration’s Regulatory Red Tape Is Crushing Small Businesses. Last March, the EPA was rushed to issue a set of regulations - known as the Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) rules - which set emission limits for boilers used in manufacturing facilities, municipal power plants, hospitals, universities, and any other facility. EPA officials have estimated that the capital cost of implementing these rules will be $9.5 billion, but a recent study prepared by IHS Global Insight puts the figure at $20 billion. The precise cost of these stringent rules may still be unknown, but they will undoubtedly impose significant new regulatory costs on employers and small businesses that could lead to factory closures and job losses. … Here in the House of Representatives, we are taking action to protect American businesses and job creators from this unnecessary government interference. In October, we passed the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (H.R.2250), which I co-sponsored and was included in the payroll tax holiday extension bill that passed the House in December. This bill directs the EPA to re-propose new, less harmful rules within 15 months and extends compliance time from three to five years, giving businesses more time to prepare, sustain jobs, and prosper. The Hill

Reminder: Over 300 Business Groups and Manufactures Say Boiler MACT Jeopardizes More Than 200,000 Jobs

o Reminder 2: 41 House Democrats Supported H.R. 2250, Why Won’t Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer Hold A Vote?


Honeywell Continues To Invest In Virginia, 50 New Jobs Coming To Chesterfield County. A New-Jersey based manufacturing company is investing $27.5 million to expand its local operations and create dozens of new jobs. Honeywell, a manufacturer of materials for a wide variety of industries such as aviation, power and mining, announced Monday its plan to expand its facility in Chesterfield County and add 50 jobs. … Honeywell has 17 facilities statewide, including in Hopewell and Colonial Heights, and employs about 1,800 people in Virginia. The Chesterfield location on Bermuda Hundred Road employs about 300 people. Richmond Biz Sense

Keeping Tabs

Changing Washington: House Republicans Eliminate Over 6,300 Earmarks In A Single Bill. Speaker Boehner: The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act will be up here in the next couple of weeks, taking, opening up more areas for energy development and using those new revenues -- royalty revenues -- to pay for our aging infrastructure that needs real repair. And we'll do this in a way that has no earmarks. You know, the last highway bill had 6,317 earmarks in it, little projects for members of Congress and their districts -- some of them not so little. No earmarks. PBS NewsHour

Join The Club: Senate Democrats Are Frustrated With Harry Reid. The Hill

GOP Health Care Reforms