So the House Republican majority has decided not to go along with the Senate’s bipartisan bill to temporarily extend the employee payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits.
Decided, in fact, not even to vote on the bill — or rather, Speaker John Boehner did. This allegedly because he feared the bill would pass.
Given the position they’ve taken, it would have to be a full-year extension — exactly what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decided they couldn’t work out before the tax cut and UI extensions expire.
What will happen now is anyone’s guess. We do know, however, that more than 1.8 million jobless workers and their families will probably spend a very anxious holiday season.
And what if there are no extensions at all? The Center for American Progress summarizes the big picture and maps the impacts for every state and the District of Columbia.
Nationwide, more than five million jobless workers will exhaust their benefits before the holidays roll round again. About 160 million working workers will get smaller paychecks — leaving them, on average, with $1,000 less for the year.
Here in the District, payroll tax cut losses will average $1,100.
And 14,200 jobless workers will run out of the UI benefits they would have had if Congress had extended the federal programs, with just a technical change to reflect the unusually long duration of high unemployment rates.
I’d like to think this won’t happen. But then I never thought House Republicans would delivery such a nasty holiday gift.