As predicted by the tea party-controlled Speaker, House Republicans defeated a two-month extension of reduced payroll taxes on Social Security and extension of unemployment benefits.
Then House member started packing for the trip home, joining the Senate, which left town after passing a funding compromise that provided the two-month extension.
House Speaker John Boehner first backed the Senate bill but — under pressure from tea party backed Republicans — reversed his position and declared the measure dead in the House.
With Republicans falling into line, the House defeated the extension 229-13 and Boehner delivered an ultimatum to the Senate: Come back to town and agree to a year-long extension on our terms are Americans pay the price on Jan. 1.
Senate leaders say they won’t play that game.
“The Senate has recessed for the year, end of story,” an aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Capitol Hill Blue.
President Barack Obama says the House needs to accept the Senate compromise and work on a longer extension after the first of the year.
“Let’s be clear,” Obama said Friday. “The bipartisan compromise that was reached on Saturday is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on Jan. 1. The only one.”