ByÂ Sean Lengell-The Washington Times
TheÂ Senateâ€™s top Republican said Sunday he is confidentÂ CongressÂ will pass an extension of the expiring payroll-tax break, and he wouldnâ€™t rule out increases in taxes elsewhere to help pay for it.
â€œThereâ€™s broad agreement on doing the payroll-tax holiday through the end of the year. Republicans, Democrats agree on that,â€Â SenateMinority LeaderÂ Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said onÂ CNNâ€™s â€œState of the Union.â€
When asked by moderatorÂ Candy CrowleyÂ if he would flatly rule out any kind of tax increase to pay for the benefit,Â Mr. McConnellÂ wouldnâ€™t commit, saying that he was â€œnot going to negotiate this agreement with you this morning.â€
ButÂ Mr. McConnellÂ said the administration â€œwants to take somebody elseâ€™s money, particularly people whoâ€™ve been successful, and squander it on things like Solyndra,â€ referring to the solar-panel maker that went bankrupt last fall just two years after winning more than a half-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees.
â€œWe now have a debt the size of our economy. We look a lot like Greece. Weâ€™re heading toward Western Europe. If you want to see what happens, just look across the Atlantic. Thatâ€™s the direction weâ€™re headed in,â€Â Mr. McConnellÂ said.
House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, also said Sunday on ABCâ€™s â€œThis Weekâ€ he is â€œconfident that weâ€™ll be able to resolve this fairly quickly.â€
The payroll-tax cut initially was set up at the end of 2010 as a one-year deal. Lawmakers worked to extend the tax holiday for another year during the closing weeks of 2011 but couldnâ€™t agree how to pay for it, resulting in the two-month stopgap that expires at the end of February. A 20-member bipartisan, bicameral committee is negotiating an extension through the rest of 2012.
The main sticking point is how to pay for the 2-percentage-point cut in Social Security payroll taxes. The tax cut allows a worker earning $50,000 to keep about an extra $20 a week.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/29/mcconnell-wont-say-no-tax-increases/
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