Boehner to Push Payroll Tax Cut

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

In this July 26, 2011 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio pauses during a news conference at The Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner, a career politician who once cut deals with Ted Kennedy, finds himself with a powerful title in confronting the debt crisis but little room to maneuver between his party’s right wing and the Democrats who control the Senate and White House.

House Speaker John Boehner said he will pass President Obama’s payroll tax cut, but only if the Democrats give a little on other GOP policies. In a closed-door meeting Friday morning, Boehner referred to the package he’s putting forward as turning “chicken shit into chicken salad,” according to people in attendance. His proposal will include an easing of environmental regulations on boilers as a precedent to building the controversial Keystone pipeline. Boehner will have some persuading to do, since there’s a lot of internal division among the GOP on whether to greenlight major Democratic policies, but the Speaker will try to couple them with measures that the Republicans want passed. Yesterday, a minority of the Senate voted to kill Obama’s payroll tax holiday. Obama demanded that Congress pass the bill before the holiday break, or “we can all spend Christmas here together.”