Senate Democrats are expected to force a vote this week to extend a payroll-tax cut that has saved the average worker nearly $1,000 this year. But the measure would be tied to an increased levy on people earning more than $1 million per year – which Republicans oppose and are likely to filibuster.
“The payroll-tax holiday has not stimulated job creation,” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said on Fox News Sunday, outlining the Republican message for the week. Of course, the Democrats’ message – look, a GOP blockade of a middle-class tax cut to protect the wealthy – is one reason the vote is expected to occur in the first place.
Even as Republicans prepare to block Democrats’ effort, they are not ruling out an eventual deal that would extend the reduced payroll tax and expiring unemployment benefits. “I think probably some package of that with other features might very well pass,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said on ABC’s This Week. Many congressional Republicans do not support renewing the payroll-tax cut but have indicated they would agree to it in a larger deal that includes GOP priorities.