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House Republicans fold on payroll tax cut

By Ezra Klein,

Reports are coming in that House Republicans have caved: They’ll agree to extend the payroll tax cut for two months in return for Senate Democrats agreeing to a conference committee to work on a yearlong extension of the payroll tax cut.

So, crisis averted ... for two months. At which point, Democrats and Republicans are back in essentially the same position they’re in now: Democrats support extending the payroll tax cut, and Republicans don’t. And, once again, that will leave the Republican leadership caught in the middle, trying to negotiate a set of non-payroll tax cut policy concessions that they can use to convince their members to support the payroll tax cut itself.

Ultimately, the “compromise” here was to delay this fight for two months. On this, John Boehner is right: A two-month extension of the payroll tax cut is ridiculous. A yearlong extension would make far more sense. But the fact of their matter is, it’s only necessary because his members don’t support a yearlong extension. Perhaps, over the next 60 days, he can convince them to change their minds.

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