Close this search box.

Senate Hopefuls Side with House GOP on Payroll Tax

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Would-be Casey foes debate in NYC. December 2011.

Several candidates hoping to face Senator Bob Casey next year say the payroll tax cut compromise he supported isn’t good enough. They told PoliticsPA that Republicans in the U.S. House are right to hold out on the deal.

The House GOP rejected this week a Senate package that would extend the tax break for two months. It was supported by a strong majority of Republicans and Democrats. They are instead pushing for a year-long extensions coupled with additional concessions from Democrats.

“I think what the Republicans are doing in the House is correct. Stay there, and say we’re going to stay here until its done. Force this thing to a vote, and get it done for more than just two months,” said former Pa. Rep. and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer. He blamed the stalemate on tactics by Barack Obama’s administration.

Tom Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County, agreed.

“These temporary fixes and gimmicks have become a hallmark of the dysfunction among career politicians in Washington,” he said “We need permanent tax relief for job creating small business and an end to the oppressive over-regulation that stifles growth.”

Marc Scaringi, a Cumberland County attorney and a former aide to U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, took an even more direct stance.

“The US Senate should not have settled for the two-month payroll tax cut extension.  I would have voted against the Senate version of the bill because it does not provide long-term or permanent tax and spending cuts and regulatory relief,” he explained. “I stand with the Republicans in the House of Representatives.”

Tim Burns, a Washington County businessman who ran for Congress in 2010 against Mark Critz, took a slightly softer tone.

“First of all, a two month tax break is better than nothing, but is it practical?” he asked, saying that Obama and Casey had raised taxes enough. “Common sense and my business experience would say not only is two months insufficient, but it is also impractical for businesses to implement.”

The campaigns of Steve Welch, David Christian and Laureen Cummings did not respond to requests for comment. However, during a debate earlier in December, they and all of the candidates echoed the idea that the payroll tax cut extension is too short-sighted to have a positive impact.

Earlier in the debate in Congress, Casey had pushed a compromise measure to extend the payroll tax cuts by a full year. Since then, he has used the issue to boost his own profile. He has made several appearances on cable news networks among other outreach efforts.

“Neither side was happy with everything but we at least got some certainty for the American people…this was a compromise, rarely do you get this type of vote total in the U.S. Senate and now you have the House Republicans who won’t even bring it up for a vote, I guess they are afraid it might pass,” Casey told the Allentown Morning Call.

Both he and Senator Pat Toomey voted in favor of the Senate’s two month compromise.

Meanwhile, recent polling indicates that the issue is a winner for Democrats in general, and President Obama in particular.

7 Responses

  1. 3) A 2 month extension of a 2% tax cut for a household earning $50,000 is $166.67. Let nothing get done. The world will not end. And instead of extending this 2% cut for one year, have a payroll holiday for both employer and employee (total of 15.3%) for 1 month and an additional payroll holiday for 1 month for employee;

  2. 2) 160 million Americans paying payroll taxes? Not Exactly, there are not that many employed.
    Robert Romano–One claim made by supporters of extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits is that 160 million Americans will have their taxes increased if the legislation does not pass. For example by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “The payroll tax cut that the president proposed would put $1,500 in the pockets of 160 million Americans.” However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 140.5 million Americans even employed: ;

  3. 1) More Problems With Senate Extenders Package Posted by Daniel Horowitz (19 December 2011)

    Aside for the obvious vices of a two-month payroll tax extension, this tenuous law will make life difficult for providers of payroll processing services. Section 101 of the legislation establishes a new Social Security Taxable Wage limit of $18,350. All wages in excess of $18,350 for January and February will be taxed at the old rate of 6.2%. This provision was inserted in order to preclude those with high incomes from meeting their full payroll tax obligation during the first two months.

  4. The Democrats have already ceded the point that tax cuts spur economic growth and JOBS as well as the reciprocal: Tax Increases are a drag on economic growth and don’t create JOBS. Profitable businesses create jobs.
    Sen. Pat Toomey proposed a Payroll Tax Cut (instead of stimulus and bailouts) to grow jobs.

    Predictably, Democrats, mindlessly, repeat misleading, half-true Democratic Talking Points and, fails to look at the facts demonstrating that Democrats Cannot Be Trusted With Money

  5. Anyone who honestly thinks the Senate version of this bill was a good deal is a functional illiterate businesswise. The implementation of the computer software revision required to comply with this extension would impose an expense on small businesses that could easily result in unacceptable losses in their financial position. The majority of the clowns in the Senate have never have to meet a payroll nor have they had any responsibility for turning a profit in a business. Rank and file employees absolutely need to understand that their employer’s Profit and Loss Statement is the final say in whether or not they are going to have a job next week.

  6. It’s great to have them on the record so early that they do not stand on the side of tax cuts for the middle class.

  7. Awesome! Casey should base his campaign against these idiots for their support of the House GOP screwing 160,000,000 American workers.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen