Reports coming out of Washington show that it appears as if the House GOP has blinked and will accept the Senate bill on the payroll tax cut.
In a statement sent out moments ago, Congressman Michael Grimm of Staten Island assailed his fellow Republicans, for as he put, having confidence in the trustworthiness of President Barack Obama.
“Republicans made one big mistake in the payroll tax debate, and that was having any confidence that President Obama’s intentions were sincere,” he said. “When the president told us that he too stood behind a responsible one-year extension of the payroll tax, we foolishly believed him. Why shouldn’t we? No one, including the president, thinks that a two-month band-aid is a better policy than a one-year fix. Sadly, he proved once again that he is incapable of putting partisan politics aside, and flip-flopped on his position.”
Democrats point out that while the president said he wanted a one-year deal, the two-month deal was a compromise to get Republicans on board. Many of those Republicans however have been on the record saying they don’t think the payroll tax cut should be extended at all, and they added on other policy provisions in order to make the bill distasteful to Democrats.
Mr. Grimm says that President Obama is merely using the Congress as a tool in his campaign narrative to run against both parties in Washington.
“If President Obama had any leadership qualities, he would have stuck to his guns and fought for the best policy for the American people. As the highest official in the Democratic Party, he could have urged the Senate to support a long-term deal or at least to engage in thoughtful debate. Instead, he failed to lead and seized an opportunity for his own campaign’s political advantage.
“This president knows he can’t run on his leadership ability or completely failed policies, so he plays into campaign statistics that tell him to run against a broken Congress. Urging the Senate to work with House Republicans on a responsible policy deal and start changing the broken culture of Washington doesn’t help him in the polls, so he flip-flopped. The true story of what’s happened in the payroll tax debate simply comes down to presidential politics. Regardless of who wins this battle, there is sure to be one clear loser: our country.”
Kevin Elkins, the deputy executive director of the Staten Island Democratic Party, passes along the following response:
His comments are disingenuous at best, out-of-touch with reality at worst.Staten Islanders would love what fantasy world he is playing make-believe Congressman in but, his statement is just totally at odds with the facts. He he played games with the livelihood of his own constituents and lost on the politics and the policy and even his own fellow Republicans said as much including John McCain, countless other Senate Republicans and even the Wall Street Journal. He should admit his failures, and move on towards addressing the long list of problems facing people of Staten Island and Brooklyn that only continues to grow. Considering his record, I don’t believe the people of Staten and Island and Brooklyn should be hopeful he will do anything more than keep playing games, and angling for more T.V time.