Congress finds itself in a familiar place this afternoon on a key piece of legislation: stuck in partisan gridlock. The House voted 229-193 to reject the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut that cleared the Senate, reports Politico. Instead, House Republicans called for a House-Senate conference to hammer out a longer-term deal, but the prospects of that happening before year's end are pretty slim, notes the Hill.
Instead, expect both parties to start spinning the outcome by blaming the other—and expect payroll taxes to go up for 160 million American workers come January, barring some bipartisan miracle. The Senate already has left town for the holidays, and the House is poised to follow soon. (Read more payroll taxes stories.)