Boehner defends decision to drop payroll tax offsets

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday defended his decision to abandon his longstanding demand that the payroll tax cut be fully offset with spending cuts. He characterized it as a move designed to bring Democrats who were stalling an agreement back to the bargaining table.

“We were not going to allow the Democrats to continue to play political games and raise taxes on working Americans, and so we made a decision to bring them to the table so the games would stop and we would get this work done,” Boehner said.

The Speaker said lawmakers had an “agreement in principle” to extend the payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and the Medicare “doc fix,” but cautioned that “there are a lot of details that have yet to be worked out.”

For more on the payroll tax negotiations, click here.