Blog Briefing Room

Tea Party Texan blames 'failure to communicate' for payroll tax debacle

Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertPence to give keynote address at National Conservative Student Conference Gaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program 136 Republicans get Fs in accountability rankings from anti-Trump GOP group MORE (R-Texas), a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, blamed Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBiden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only MORE (R-Ohio) for the fiasco over the payroll tax extension.

“What we have here is a failure to communicate,” Gohmert said Monday on Fox News. 

House Republicans initially balked on passing a two-month extension after it passed the Senate with overwhelming support, but eventually relented to political pressures and passed the short-term option.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If the message had been properly communicated to the Senate that we were not going to go along with a two-month extension, then the Senate would not have voted 89 votes for that extension,” Gohmert said.

The Senate passed its bill with bipartisan support after failing to find consensus on how to pay for a yearlong extension.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellManchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Romney: Removing Cheney from House leadership will cost GOP election votes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden reverses Trump limits on transgender protections MORE (R-Ky.) seemed to have an understanding with BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBiden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only MORE that the bill would pass the House, which likely contributed to the overwhelming Republican support for the bill in the Senate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gohmert didn’t use Boehner’s name on Monday, but the Speaker represented House Republicans as a conduit between the two chambers.

The Senate "had the word that, according to them, that they’d been told we’ll go along with a two-month extension,” Gohmert said.

House Republicans, led by freshman conservatives who were voted into office on the strength of the Tea Party movement, revolted against the Senate-passed bill, saying the negotiation over a full-year tax cut should happen now rather than after the holiday recess.

The conservative establishment, led by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds DOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (R-Ariz.), The Wall Street Journal editorial board and former Bush adviser Karl Rove, turned strongly against House Republicans and said they were botching the politics by picking the wrong fight.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Thursday, McConnell dropped a lifeline to Boehner, saying publicly that the House should pass the bill if Democrats agreed to name conferees to negotiate the full-year extension early next year.

The bill passed the House on Friday morning by unanimous consent.

Some have speculated that the payroll tax debate has irreparably harmed Boehner’s Speakership, and that he has lost control of his conference to a Tea Party faction.

Last week, Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyPompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy The Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election MORE (R-S.C.), another Tea Party-backed freshman, did not dispute that notion in an interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.

He paused for a few seconds before answering Cavuto’s question as to whether Boehner should maintain his Speakership.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We didn’t have a comment section to our conference call,” Gowdy said, referring to a Thursday conference call in which Boehner informed Republicans they should concede to the Senate-passed bill. “We typically do, where we can ask questions and register complaints. That wasn’t an option this afternoon. It probably means we’d still be on the phone call, if he’d opened it up to questions.”