Tuesday, the House Republicans rejected a bipartisan compromise the Senate overwhelmingly approved to extend the payroll tax cuts for two months. The rejection came days before the tax cuts are set to expire December 31, and many senators had already left Washington for their holiday recess. In a USA Today op-ed Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner called for President Obama to step in, and blamed Senate Democrats for "refusing to return from vacation and negotiate with the House." If the cuts expired, they would cost the average family $1,000 annually, or $40 a week as a Twitter hashtag campaign sponsored by the White House reminded Americans.
Yet many think Boehner is to blame for this, yet another Washington stalement. Insiders suggest he approved of the Senate deal, but then changed his position to appease Tea Party House members who didn't approve of the bill. Argued TJS's Peter Fenn,
Anyone who is watching the inmates take over the asylum that is becoming the Republican caucus has got to fear for the country—and the Republican party… Speaker Boehner is in real trouble on this one and he knows it; he is better off to cut the crazies loose in his own party, make a deal with Democrats and reasonable Republicans, and move on.
The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal criticized the GOP for allowing the "fiasco" to give Obama an extra 2012 political boost:
Senate Republicans say Mr. Boehner had signed off on the two-month extension, but House Members revolted over the weekend and so the Speaker flipped within 24 hours… If Republicans didn't want to extend the payroll tax cut on the merits, then they should have put together a strategy and the arguments for defeating it and explained why.
However rather than presenting a united front, GOP senators and representatives are now taking public swipes at their chamber counterparts over the debacle.
What do you think? Did the House's rejection of the payroll tax cut extension do the GOP more harm than good? Take the poll and comment below.
Previously: Can Ron Paul Win the 2012 Republican Nomination?