Sessions still uneasy on payroll tax cut

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C., may have told The Wall Street Journal that they will end up supporting a continuation of this year's payroll tax cut, but Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is not sold yet. Sessions told reporters at a American Spectator news breakfast this morning that he was still "uneasy" about the policy.

"It's not a tax cut I don't think," Sessions said of the payroll tax cut. "We're talking about having 160 million Americans not pay into their retirement plan. Well where is the money coming from? Well we're going to borrow it, adding to the debt."

Sessions then addressed Democrat plans to pay for the payroll cut with a millionaire surtax. "Then you have a tax that they cited in the committee that they were going to use to reduce deficits. Now they want to use it to fund this extended cut. So as a matter of financial responsibility I am uneasy about it."

Sessions did acknowledge, however, that a deal is likely. "Probably some solution will be reached that will reduce the payroll withholding."

Sessions also ticked off a list of other expensive items that he expected Congress to act on before the end of this year, including: $266 billion for the payroll tax cut, $90 billion for tax extenders, $71 billion for unemployment insurance, $51 billion for a Alternative Minimum Tax patch, and $21 billion for the doc fix.

"That's about $500 billion. Every bit of that is borrowed," Sessions said. "Europeans have made a decision to stop increasing their debt, and I believe we simply have to do that."

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