Tax Fight Deadlock

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 12:02pm

The tax fight is so deadlocked, lawmakers have started leaving Washington.

Washington's standoff over your payroll taxes is getting worse, and no one is budging. In fact, more lawmakers are throwing up their hands and going home for the holiday.

There was another mass exodus here. House Republicans are trying to force Democrats back to Washington to negotiate a longer extension of the payroll tax cut. So far, it's not working.

There is one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on. "The arrogance of this place is outstanding – it’s unbelievable!" said Rep. Tom Reed, (R) New York.

"What is happening here today is shameful. It is a disgrace. It is unreal," proclaimed Rep. John Lewis, (D) Georgia.

The House rejected the Senate's deal to extend your payroll tax break for 60 days.

Republicans want Democrats to return to Washington to try again to negotiate a full year extension on. Democrats say no.

No one's blinking.

In fact -- more members are leaving town -- leaving millions of paychecks in limbo.

One Republican called it a high stakes poker game. "It's not a game for the average family who doesn't have an extra $1,000 bucks to lose," said President Barack Obama.

"I need the President to help out, all right?" said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.

But President Obama insists the two-month extension is now the only option. Democrats blame conservative republicans. "Apparently the Tea Party tail is wagging the elephant," said House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

SO WHERE'S ALL THIS GOING? "Republicans are privately conceding that their party is likely to back down in the end. The question is going to be how quickly and at what political cost?" said CNBC, Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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