GOP passes payroll tax extension, Democrats call it a stunt - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

GOP passes payroll tax extension, Democrats call it a stunt

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) - Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are still sparring over how much they'll take from your paycheck! Tuesday night, the House of Representatives passed a plan to extend a payroll tax cut.

But its passage is only symbolic as democrats have vowed to defeat the proposal in the Senate and President Barack Obama has threatened a veto.

It is a new battle, but the same old war. The president wants to hike taxes on the rich, republicans don't like that idea.

Meanwhile, the amount of money in your paycheck hangs in the balance.

In a normal period of American governance, the sound of a bill passing would signal progress. But in 2011 it is anything but.

"Because you can't be for the middle class, you can't be for keeping taxes low and be against our middle class tax relief and jobs creation act," Said Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico), the House Majority Leader.  

Cantor is challenging the president and Senate democrats to pass their version of a payroll tax cut, a version that has strings attached.

"I think it is political posturing, because I don't think it has any business on this issue."

In an interview with NBC12, Obama Interior Secretary Ken Slazar was critical of the republican's effort to tie the tax cut extension to a controversial Keystone project to build a pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Salazar accused the GOP of clouding the issue, while Americans face the probability of $1,000 in new taxes in 2012.

"The focus should be on that issue," Salazar said of the payroll tax cut. "It should not be confused with the issue of the Keystone Pipeline."

But republicans argue that Keystone is about jobs, and the Obama plan is only about raising taxes on the rich, and the GOP is unwilling to trade one tax cut for a hike somewhere else.

"We ask the President to join us in finally putting himself behind this bill to help the middle class; it's time for the President to compromise as well," Cantor said.  

So the fighting continues, and your paycheck is caught in the middle. If a deal is not reached by December 31st, your take-home pay could be short an average of $40 every two weeks in 2012.

We have extended clips from Secretary Slazar and Rep. Cantor on DecisionVirginia.com

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