GOP senator says Republicans need to resolve payroll tax fight and 'move on'

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that Republicans are losing the public-relations battle over a payroll tax cut extension and should find a way to extend the tax holiday and move on.

"Are Republicans getting killed now in public opinion? There's no question," Corker said Wednesday on CNBC. 

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"Both Republicans and Democrats have agreed that this is going to happen and probably the best thing to happen now is just to get it over with — one more policy blunder — but just get it over with and move on, because now it's been framed as a tax increase, which it's not," he said.  

Corker agreed with an editorial in The Wall Street Journal published Wednesday urging House Republicans to bite the bullet and extend the payroll tax holiday quickly.  


"But again, I know what's going to happen and I agree with the editorial this morning in The Wall Street Journal; probably the best thing to do at this point is just get this behind us and move on and hopefully figure out a way to deal with the real issues that our country needs to deal with: our deficits, reforming entitlements, reforming taxes," Corker continued. "Those are the things that to me are going to stimulate our economy." 

A bill extending the payroll tax holiday for two months sailed through the Senate over the weekend on an 89-10 vote, but House Republicans said the legislation was unacceptable because it didn't extend the tax break for a full year. The House on Tuesday rejected the measure and voted to create a conference committee to reconcile the Senate bill with a yearlong extension passed by the House earlier. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he won't call back the Senate and negotiate on a longer extension until House Republicans agree to pass the two-month bill that cleared his chamber.

Corker said he would be fine with returning to Washington to work with the House committee. 

"I'm more than glad to go back," he said. "I think we should go back, and I think it's candidly very arrogant of the Senate to say, 'Hey, we passed a piece of legislation — you either take it or leave it.' Candidly, the House is right on this."

Corker predicted that some kind of extension would be passed in a "clumsy way."

"It'll get done in a pretty clumsy way as it is now," Corker said. "And again, it's one more terrible public policy move that furthers our country down the road that's in a negative way."