Per Democratic congressional lobbyist Billy Moore, the first session of the 112th Congress has only a few legislative days before it adjourns sine die, and it will likely claim the prize as the least productive session in 60 years (when Congress started enumerating public laws). Congress has not made up for its lack of quantity with quality: of the 57 public laws Congress has enacted so far this year, 34 merely extended expiring laws (such as continuing appropriations or expiring tax or highway statutes).
“Senate Democrats and the White House are setting up a certain-to-fail vote to extend and expand the payroll tax cut as soon as this week as their signature political showcase heading into the election year,” Roll Call writes. “For Democratic partisans, the series of made-for-attack-ad Senate votes pitting tax increases on the rich against pieces of the president’s jobs package have served as appetizers to the main event: a showdown between tax cuts for more than 99 percent of taxpayers and many businesses and tax increases on millionaires.”
“Lawmakers are digging in for a fight over extending President Obama’s payroll-tax holiday that is set to expire in January, taking a $1,000-a-year bite out of middle-class paychecks,” the New York Post writes. “Democratic leaders said they want to raise taxes on the rich to pay for keeping the payroll-tax rate at 4.2 percent, instead of the usual 6.2 percent. Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said that approach will meet stiff opposition because it taxes job creators to give a tax break that does nothing for job growth.”