Bachmann: Reid 'threw a grenade over to the House' in payroll tax fight

It was clear from the beginning that Democrats would not offer an acceptable payroll tax cut extension bill that House Republicans could accept, Michele Bachmann said Wednesday.

"Harry Reid essentially threw a grenade over to the House and left and said, 'Take it or leave it,' so it was very difficult for John Boehner because this was just a two-month temporary gimmick and this leaves the entire United States business world in an uproar, because who can make any plans based on a two-month bill?" Bachmann said on the "Today" show.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Minnesota congresswoman's comments came a day after a two-month tax cut extension that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate failed in the House. House Republicans vowed to kill the bill in their chamber, saying they wanted the extension to be for an entire year. Instead, the House voted to create a conference committee to reconcile the Senate bill with a yearlong extension passed earlier by the House. 

The Senate compromise was forged in negotiations between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after both sides deadlocked over how to pay for a full-year tax holiday.

Bachmann said the two-month extension the Senate passed, 89-10, was just a political stunt, which is why she didn't leave the campaign trail to vote on the bill when it reached the House.

"It was obvious that nothing was going to happen," Bachmann continued. "President Obama wasn't going to engage in the process. Harry Reid made a decision to throw over a two-month bill," Bachmann said. "I was fully prepared to go back if there was something that we could vote on, but it was very clear from the beginning that this was about politics."

Both Democrats and some Senate Republicans have criticized the House GOP for failing to approve the Senate bill. 160 million Americans could be hit with a tax hike if lawmakers are unable to reach a deal. Sen. Reid, however, has said he will not reconvene the Senate and along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has suggested he would not appoint conferees to the committee.

More in News

Muslim rep 'confident' Chapel Hill killings over more than a parking space

Read more »