Update (12:40 p.m. EST): McConnell has broken with his fellow Republicans, offering a compromise on the payroll tax that would extend it into next year. The Senate Minority Leader said the House should approve the two-month extension of the tax that it had previously rejected, and that Senate Democrats should form a negotiating committee to come to a long-term agreement, The New York Times reports. "In suggesting that Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader from Nevada, name members of a House-Senate conference committee first proposed by House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, Mr. McConnell was trying to find House Republicans a face-saving way to go ahead with a vote for an extension but still claim they won some concessions from Democrats and the White House," Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer wrote
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Original: House Republicans want to work out a compromise with President Barack Obama about extending the payroll tax break, but they can't just offer to do so without a bit of snark. In a press conference Thursday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Republicans could work out a deal with President Barack Obama in about an hour to extend the middle-class tax break for another year, tweets CBS producer Jill Jackson. But Cantor couldn't resist a jab at the president that just makes the Republican offer to compromise seem, well, not all that sincere. Real Clear Politics has some video and this quote:
"I saw the president out yesterday doing his Christmas shopping. I saw he brought his dog with him. You know, we're here. He could bring his dog up here. We are pet friendly. You know, again, it will not take a long time," Cantor said. "We could probably resolve the differences within an hour."
Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate (which passed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut already) are putting pressure on the house to get this done. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement Thursday saying, "there is no reason why Congress and the President cannot accomplish all of these things before the end of the year."