With reputations damaged after payroll tax cut squabbles, Republicans in congress fight to change topics by emphasizing job creation. Pushing legislation that would bring jobs to the suffering economy, the GOP contends that bills promoting energy and transportation services, as well as lowering business tax and promoting capital, will reinvigorate the weak job market.
On the other hand, Democrats fight to retain control by forcing the Republican vote on needed programs paid for by tax hikes on the highest wage earners, in an election year nonetheless.
Both legislative positions emphasize political strategy drawn from the fight over payroll. The battle came to a close Friday evening after Congress utilized bipartisan compromise to deliver President Obama a bill totaling 143 billion in revenue. The package is intended to keep jobless benefits for those without work, stop cuts in Medicare reimbursement, and extends a 2 percent tax cut for payroll.
Before rescinding their demands that payroll tax cuts be paid for by lowering government spending, Democrats had succeeded in painting the Republicans as opposing middle class tax brakes for over 160 million people. The GOP seeks to redirect voters to Obama’s failures on the economy, taking attention off the party’s dismal showing in an election year.
As Republicans fight to preserve jobs and lower 2012 taxes, Dems seek to extend unemployment benefits and medicare provisions that many Americans depend on. With Republican measures in danger, there is little likelihood Republican energy bills will pass the Senate let alone get Obama’s signature. However, Republicans hope to make the best of the situation by showing they are in favor of job creation.