Florida Republican Rep. Allen West criticized his GOP leadership Tuesday for failing to "stand firm" last month and pass a one-year extension to the payroll tax cut.
Instead, as the possibility of an across-the-board return to the 6.2 percent Social Security tax loomed, lawmakers in late December agreed to a two-month extension of the 4.2 rate that was originally approved as a one-year tax holiday for 2011.
Congress passed the extension by unanimous consent last month, a decision that West said was done without his sign-off.
Congress passing a two-month extension "is one of the most insidious things you could ever think of,” West said on "Fox & Friends." "The American people will see the exact same dance coming about again in another two to three months."
West said he wasn’t 36 hours out of Washington when a House Republican conference called informing him of the late compromise before Christmas.
“We were told that we would accept that two-month extension by unanimous consent,” said West. “My consent was not part of that."
The extension temporarily prevented tax increases for about 160 million workers and extended unemployment benefits for up to 2 million people.
The House originally passed its own one-year extension, but Democrats opposed House Republicans spending cuts and tougher rules for unemployment benefits.
"We voted for a one-year extension that was paid for, that would not have any detrimental effect on Social Security, but what did we get back from the Senate to include Senate Republicans was something that is going to raise the fees on loan guarantees for the government sponsored enterprises," West said, referring to the agreement to pay for the break by raising costs of taking loans from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
“American homeowners will be paying for this two-month extension and you cannot run this country with policies based upon two-month increments.”
The freshman representative said he was willing to return to Washington before Christmas, but is now focused on pushing for a one-year extension when the House returns to session later this month.