Alicia M. Cohn, The Hill, December 20, 2011
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said Tuesday that President Obama “absolutely” should use his executive power to continue the unemployment benefits and payroll tax cut extension and said she hoped to discuss the option with the White House later in the day.
“It is extraordinary, don’t get me wrong. But I’m feeling the pain of the constituents I left [at] home,” Jackson Lee said, speaking on the progressive Ed Schultz’s radio show. “I consider this a crisis. I consider leaving Americans without unemployment insurance for January and February a crime. I consider not extending the payroll tax cut . . . a crime.”
Jackson Lee slammed the move by House Republicans to call for a House-Senate conference as a “ridiculous procedural calamity.”
House Republicans called for a vote on the motion Tuesday, which passed without any Democrat votes.
“This is what got thrown in our face, not even the right to regular order,” Jackson Lee said, blasting House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for not bringing to a House vote a Senate-passed bill that would have extended the payroll tax cut for two months.