Obama faces new battle as House threatens to derail tax deal

Obama faces new battle as House threatens to derail tax deal

The US Senate passed a two-month payroll tax holiday extension on Saturday, guaranteeing fresh partisan bickering in the 2012 election year after denying Obama the one-year extension for the tax cut and unemployment benefits he had initially sought.

The House was expected to vote on it today. But on yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner said that Republicans, who control the House, would oppose the bill.

He pressed for Congress to pursue talks over the payroll tax holiday to extend the measure for a full year, rather than pass a short-term extension.

"It's pretty clear that I, and our members, oppose the Senate bill," Boehner told NBC's "Meet the Press."

He said extending the tax cuts for just two months would mean lawmakers were "just kicking the can down the road."

"It's time to just stop, do our work, resolve the differences and extend this for one year," Boehner added.

The statement appeared to be an about-face for Boehner, who on Saturday called the bill a "good deal" and a "victory," according to White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement.

"If House Republicans refuse to pass this bipartisan bill to extend the payroll tax cut, there will be a significant tax increase on 160 million hardworking Americans in 13 days that would damage the economy and job growth," he said.

Boehner's reversal came after a number of rank-and-file Republicans objected to the measure in a Saturday conference call with him, indicating it would face a difficult battle.

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