Below is from FNC’s Chad Pergram. First he explains the letter from Leader Pelosi to Speaker Boehner and then the actual letter:
Pelosi tells Boehner she would allow the Senate’s payroll tax bill to be cleared by unanimous consent
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
Fox has obtained a letter written by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democratic leaders to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
In the letter, Pelosi says she would allow the House to approve the Senate-approved (two mont) payroll tax cut bill by unanimous consent.
What that would mean is that most House members wouldn’t have to return to the Capitol for an actual roll call vote on the issue. In other words, they would seek “unanimous consent” on the House floor to okay the bill. It would only take one member to object and blow up the bill (thus, the “consent” is not “unanimous”). But there would be none because the revamped bill had been pre-cleared with both sides. Thus, they only need a skeleton crew on the floor to approve the bill.
This gives Boehner at least several outs…even if his side doesn’t like the language of the Senate bill.
But therein lies the problem for Boehner. Democrats know he can’t get clearance on his side to do that (which is the reason for the holdup). So Democrats are sort of sticking this in Boehner’s eye saying “Look, we have our side organized, can’t you get your side together?”
Furthermore, Boehner could pass the Senate bill with about 80 GOP votes and the rest coming from Democrats…..and he would face a complete insurrection from his side, questioning his fitness to be speaker.
Text of the letter is below.
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
We are disappointed that during yesterday morning’s House session, the Speaker pro-tempore refused to allow the consideration of the bipartisan Senate-passed bill to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and the SGR Medicare physician fix. Passage of this bill is essential prior to January 1, and is the only way to ensure that tens of millions of Americans avoid losing tax cuts and other essential benefits as we continue to work on a longer-term extension of these critical policies.
Yesterday, 180 Democrats introduced HR 3743 which is identical to the Senate-passed bill. The House has three chances before January 1 – this Friday, next Tuesday, and next Friday – during which this bill could be passed by Unanimous Consent. Democrats will provide that support to provide the American people a firm guarantee that these essential benefits will not terminate unnecessarily on December 31.
We urge you to direct whoever is serving as the presiding officer on each of these upcoming House sessions to recognize a Democratic Member to offer a motion to pass the short term extension without further delay. There is no reason why such an extension cannot be on the President’s desk within a few hours of House action given the overwhelming support the Senate has already demonstrated. We owe it to 160 million affected Americans to pass this consensus, bipartisan bill before December 31, and Democrats offer our support as soon as you will allow the bill to be considered.
NANCY PELOSI STENY HOYER
Democratic Leader Democratic Whip
U.S. House of Representatives