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Congress Blinks on Shutdown

Friday, December 16, 2011

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Congressional leaders—fearful of voters’ wrath over Washington’s bickering and brinkmanship—stepped back Thursday from a possible government shutdown, clearing the way for extending a payroll tax cut that is set to expire at year’s end.

The shift marked a dizzying change in tone from just hours earlier as leaders from both parties agreed to return to the bargaining table and put the finishing touches on a spending bill to keep the government operating after Friday. They also pledged to find a compromise to prevent a payroll tax increase on Jan. 1 and to extend unemployment benefits that are about to expire.

The intensified pace of negotiations paved the way for Congress to wrap up a bitterly partisan session by next week. That would end a year that has seen lawmakers lurch from one fiscal and political crisis to another—from a threatened government shutdown in April over spending cuts, to a near-default of the government last summer over raising the debt ceiling, to the latest showdown over payroll taxes—while seeing their approval with voters plunge.

Post Continues on online.wsj.com

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  • Captain PJ

    When their personal lives become affected, it’s amazing how quickly they find bi-partisan agreement. The 11th hour fiscal crisises that this Congress continually puts the American public through is an absolute disgrace and a failure of leadership. Most of my wrath is directed to the Democratic leadership who continully has pooh-poohed evry significant bill that the Republican House has passed and sent to the U.S. Senate. Anyone with a brain and fundamental understanding of our current economic situation, knows that these bills would improve that condition significantly.

    • Sonja M

      Captain,

      You got that right about when something effects them PERSONALLY they get the job done.

      FUNNY!

    • shannon853

      their personal lives will never be effected as they will get paid when other then top level government loose pay. they have insured their ppay will contimue no matter what. this is why i say the states vote to make all members of congress state employees where the state can set salaries, benifits and retirement along with medical. there needs to be only two terms for life in any elected position! congress keeps sticking it to us, and it is past time we stick it to them! we the people need to take out country away from the corruption from our government(s) at all levels! the battle cry should be “tine we screw congress for a change!”

    • Jax Cat

      People are viewing this wrong. The voters ire might be less if the gov’t did shut down. No income = no expenditures, PRESTO, balanced budget. A shut down gov’g can’t hurt us any more than this one currently functioning. Congress doesn’t cause nearly as many bad problems when they are on vacation. Without anyone to enforce regulations, business might start operating again.

    • Joanne Edmiston

      Captain PJ…These past three years, in particular, have been nothing more than “legislation by extortion”. I am so disgusted with both the Rs and Ds that I wouldn’t care in the least if a huge sink-hole developed under the capitol offices to swallow them all up.
      I have never seen such appeasement, self-aggrandizing activities, failure to govern responsibly, such consistent deviation from Constitutional government, and such spinelessness and desperate power-grabbing.
      It was bad at times, prior to Obama’s illegal arrival into the Oval Office, but the megalomania, stonewalling, out-right lying, and such abundant, additional losses of civil liberties.
      George Orwell was so right about the tragic changes wrought by “Big Brother”, he just had the year wrong.

  • http://patriotupdate.com mark

    THE DUMBASS RINO’S NEED TO GO FOR GOOD THEY ARE NOTHING BUT A…KISSERS.

    • http://netzero Lenny

      throw the baby out with the bath water in november, both stink.

  • Jana

    oh yea! I’m beginning to wonder who the bad guys really are here! I’m not so sure it’s the Democrats like they wanted us to believe. I’m starting to believe that the GOP has been behind this the entire time….follow the money and it seems to lead right into the pockets of the Republicans now doesn’t it!

    • paulc

      Like money to Nancy Pelosi??

    • http://waitingforindependence Independentwaitingforindepence

      You can’t be referring to the trillions that the potus (democrat obozo) has spent along with his democrat cronies. What a fool.

  • http://google CLARABELL38l

    TELL CONGRESS THEY ARE ALL FIRED! THE SENATE FOR APPROVING BESTIALITY AND SODOMY IN THE MILITARY AUTHORIZATION BILL! THE HOUSE FOR NOT READING THEIR BILLS EITHER. THEY NEVER READ THE BILLS THEY VOTE ON! THEY ARE BLIND SHEEP.

  • DJW

    More GOP letting the democrats have their way. When will they put this country first and not their job. Rick Perry is wright they need to be sent home most of the time. And have to work at a job and not have all the free stuff. They are a bunch of chickens and will not stand up to the democrats.

  • hldboo

    This is the second blog I’ve seen in the last 12 hours with the word “brinkmanship.” The word is “brinksmanship,” for the security firm, Brinks.

  • Dorothy

    Reed has got to go if the dems. do not like a bill he he want bring it up for a vote its d.o a on arrival in the senate then blames the rep. may be the gov. needs to shut down at least they want get paid I know we would suffer to some thing has to get done

  • am2sweet

    Even with the government shut down I have no doubt they would still draw their paychecks. A shutdown may be a good thing thought as how much of our money can they spend if they aren’t in session?

  • WiseOvOwl

    It seems more like children running their parents. Oh, the misdeeds of irresponsibility. If you ran in office to uphold the constitution while representing you local’s voice and succumb to sniveling of your own locals on matters of unconstitutional socialist advancement then you failed by yielding to unreasonable cries of children who were well before miss guided. I think Ron Paul was the only one who didn’t waiver here and look how long he has been in the congress. It is time to stop listening to the little children who beats pans together, Aka media and corporatist rhetoric, and start paying attention to the real issue as a people.

  • catmoma

    The speeches coming from the WH will look like conservative thinking to make us all think he’s coming around. He’ll say what he thinks we want to hear and I wouldn’t trust any of them from here to the corner. Lies, lies and more lies.