by Michael McAuliff and Arthur Delaney at Huffington Post
First Posted: 12/13/11 06:56 PM ET Updated: 12/13/11 08:18 PM ET
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 234 to 193 for the bill, in spite of a White House promise to veto it and a warning from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that it would never pass in his chamber.
The plan would pay for the one-year, 2 percent payroll tax cut by means-testing Medicare so that recipients making $85,000 and above have to pay higher premiums — effectively raising $31 billion. Another $62 billion would come from freezing federal pay for a year and making federal retirees pay more for health care. It would raise yet another $38 billion by hiking fees on banks doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Besides the controversial methods of paying for the bill, it would also stop clean air regulations estimated to save 20,000 lives, circumvent an environmental review of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline, slash emergency unemployment benefits from 73 weeks to 33 weeks, and allow states to force the jobless to prove they’re not on drugs in order to get unemployment benefits.
Earlier, Reid called the pipeline provision “ideological candy coating” and said the unemployment reforms were “on the wrong side of ridiculous.”
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Nine Poison Pills In The GOP Payroll Tax Extension Bill:
- House GOP passes payroll tax bill, gains leverage on Senate Dems (thehill.com)
- House Defies Obama Veto Threat On Payroll Tax Cut, Adds ‘Poison’ Pipeline Provision (huffingtonpost.com)
- House Votes Today On Payroll Tax Bill With Polluter Poison Pills (thinkprogress.org)
- Payroll tax passes House, DOA in Senate (politico.com)