“Truth is, we’re not far apart on this issue,” he added. “The negotiators got extremely close. We owe some civility and good tax policy to the hardworking people of this country, not more gimmicks and political games.”
Cantor mirrored comments by other House Republicans by saying the Senate bill, which extends the payroll-tax holiday and unemployment insurance by two months, is “irresponsible” and difficult to implement.
Cantor also called out Senate Democrats for wanting to leave for the Christmas break early.
“What do families see coming out of Washington? Dysfunction, and half of Congress unwilling to do its job,” he said.
Cantor’s remarks came midway through the first phase of House debate on the actual motion to seek a conference with the Senate. The two parties remained bitterly divided over the GOP motion. Democrats continued to accuse Republicans of rejecting a deal House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) initially accepted.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) brought a Christmas stocking and a lump of coal to the floor as props, and said the House is running the risk of putting coal in the stocking of millions of Americans by failing to approve the short-term extension of the payroll-tax cut.