“We are not going to get caught in endless negotiation. That leads to a cul-de-sac,” he said at a morning news conference.
House Republicans have appointed their side of a conference committee to hammer out differences with the Senate. Earlier today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that they could work out their differences in an hour, but Mr. Schumer said that this was merely a stalling tactic.
“This idea of a conference committee is well-known in Washington, that when you want to kill something but not have your fingerprints on it, send it to committee. We are waiting for our House colleagues to make a serious offer to us which they haven’t done, but before any offer…they should pass the bill that passed the Senate. That is the quickest, simplest and easiest thing to do.”
So far the House Republicans are standing on their own in opposition do a deal on a payroll tax cut. As Mr. Schumer noted, even the Senate Republicans mostly favor the Senate’s version of a temporary two month extension, and then to come back and negotiate a longer extension. House Republicans have said that they only want a year long extension, after resisting any kind of extension.
“It has large support from just about everyone except for the people who stand alone as the House Republican Caucus. A whole bunch of senators have said they sh0uld pass it. The Wall Street Journal editorial page–hardly a place that I usually agree with–has said they should pass it. ”
Earlier today Dave Camp, House Republican and a member of the conference committee, suggested a three-month payroll extension in order for business to align themselves with their quarterly projections.
Mr. Schumer said it was the first he had heard of such a suggestion.
“We have not received any offers as of five minutes ago from our House colleagues as to what they propose.”
Twice though during his news conference, Mr. Schumer’s cell phone rang. Perhaps it was Speaker Boehner?