House Speaker John Boehner has deflected any credit for the bipartisan agreement to extend the payroll tax cut, giving the plaudits to House-Senate conferees who hammered out the accord. But he and his staff actually played a vital role, Politico
The top tax committee chairmen, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., may have led the way, but top Boehner senior aides helped negotiate important parts of the agreement.
A crucial element of the deal is a provision for the government to sell telecommunications spectrum to the private sector as a way to pay for the extension of unemployment benefits. That plank wasn’t agreed upon until 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, after Boehner’s top aide, Barry Jackson, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone, completed an accord.
What separated the two was disagreement over how much money the spectrum sales would generate. Jackson forecast a larger amount than Krone. The Democrat proposed to fund any shortfall with a fee increase on mortgage agencies. Jackson didn’t go for that. So Krone suggested other sources of funds. The two agreed, and a key point of the agreement was done.
The Boehner camp played a similar role in other areas of the deal.
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