I want to specify that it was the House that did this, and not the Senate.
Rather than have a straight up-or-down vote, the House on Tuesday used a maneuver in which it rejected the Senate bill while requesting to go to conference with members of that chamber in a single measure, protecting House members from having to cast a politically unpopular vote against extending a payroll tax cut.
Which they did after the Senate left with no prospects of returning. Sort of the “I’ll do it when you hop on an airplane and pay for me to do it” gambit.
See, the House is far more beholden to the crazy-bananas Tea Party simply by virtue of being district-based (it’s a general rule of Political Science that the bigger the stage, the more moderate the candidate), and so even though the Senate passed it 89-10, the House shot it down with a damn-near pure party line vote.
This really needs to be in every Democratic campaign ad. The Teabagging House is all about helping out the already well-off, but middle America? Go fuck yourselves.