While House Republicans couldn’t get their act together to approve an extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits last night, they were able to do something far more frivolousness — commission a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to be placed in the Capitol. The House “adjourned moments after” passing the bill, which directs:
That the Architect of the Capitol place an appropriate statue or bust of Sir Winston Churchill in the United States Capitol at a location directed by the House Fine Arts Board in consultation with the Speaker.
The resolution was seen as a rebuke to the White House, which returned a bust of Churchill to the British Embassy in 2009.
House Speaker John Bohener (R-OH) shocked Washington Sunday when he said his caucus would reject the Senate’s compromise on the payroll tax package, even though it passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 89-10. The House planned to reject the Senate bill last night, but postponed the vote after it became clear that some Republicans were going to agree with the Senate. Now, a $1,000 tax break for 160 million Americans hangs in the balance.
The Churchill bill was approved via unanimous consent, meaning the House didn’t have to waste much time considering it, but it underscores the absurdity of Boehner’s gaming of the payroll tax holiday vote.