Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refused again on Monday to bring the Senate back this year unless House Republicans pass a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and a “doc fix” for Medicare.
If the House, as expected, defeats the bill later on Monday, they will be responsible, Reid warned. Congress is once again in a standoff and unlike similar situations this year, resolution may not be in sight.
“If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in 10 days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over 2 million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians,” Reid said in a statement.
Reid also reiterated his refusal to agree to House Speaker John Boehner's, R-Ohio, call for a conference committee to work out differences between the Senate bill passed on Saturday and the House measure.
“Senator (Mitch) McConnell and I negotiated a compromise at Speaker Boehner’s request. I will not re-open negotiations until the House follows through and passes this agreement that was negotiated by Republican leaders, and supported by 90 percent of the Senate," Reid said.