After taking a hit in the polls following the last payroll tax cut song and dance, the GOP has decided to pull back on demands for budget cuts in exchange for the tax cut extension.
“The deal is done,” a top Republican aide said after the main negotiators from both parties worked out their remaining differences. A senior Democratic aide said the top negotiators had finished their work.
The negotiated accord still awaits formal approval, possibly later in the day, by a special bipartisan committee composed of members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
The two chambers are expected to approve the deal by Friday, before lawmakers leave for a week-long recess.
The agreement would extend the payroll tax cut, first implemented in 2011 at the request of President Barack Obama, until the end of this year for about 160 million U.S. workers. Source: Reuters
This is a sign of the GOP finally backing off its tough stance on budget cuts after years of obstruction. Their dedication to this agenda has even brought the government to the brink of bankruptcy over raising the deficit ceiling last year. Republican House Speaker John Boehner weighed in with his usual rhetoric:
“We were not going to allow Democrats to continue to play games and cause a tax increase for hardworking Americans. We made a decision to bring them to the table so that the games would stop and we would get this worked out.”
Well, you know how it goes: It you repeat something often enough, it becomes a fact. No matter how it is spun by either party, it seems that the deal is almost a done one.