Kudos, Mr. Boehner.
The markets soared today after Spain's debt auction was met with surprisingly robust demand and the U.S. housing market was shown to have improved beyond expectations.
Then Speaker of the House John Boehner took his trusty Sword of Political Manhandling and impaled the 2-month payroll tax cut, that, if not passed soon, would put unemployment benefits for 2 million people at risk and could result in higher taxes for 160 million Americans starting January 1. This is especially interesting because the bill had widespread bipartisan support in the Senate, where it had passed 89-10 . But obviously Mr. Boehner had other plans for the bill, as he was the main reason the bill didn't pass in the house.
Simple (take note future Speakers of the House that want to fully manipulate your legislative powers).
First, Mr. Boehner tabled the straightfoward Yes/No vote in the Senate.
Then, he scheduled the vote to be on whether or not a conference committe related to the bill should be established, even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already affirmed that the Senate wouldn't be forming a committee because the entire Senate has already gone on break for the holidays.
Furthermore, both options would have resulted in the rejection of the bill; A yes vote would have sent it to an as-of-yet nonexistent committee that couldn't have possibly worked anything significant out in a matter of days; a no vote would have simply rejected the bill and the committee and sent the bill back to the Senate.
Boehner's measure passed 229-193.
So now Boehner gets to shift the blame on the Democrat-majority Senate if the committee is not established, under the pretense that he wanted to make sure the bill was suitable to both parties. If the committe IS established, there is still a huge likelihood they won't modify the bill in time for painful cuts and higher taxes to go into effect.
"President Obama needs to call on Senate Democrats to go back into session ... and resolve this bill as soon as possible. I need the president to help out."- Mr. Boehner
So kudos Mr. Speaker You might have won a political battle (for now), but you potentially have negatively affected millions of Americans in the process.