House Democrats tried Wednesday to force a vote on the Senate’s two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, but Republicans gaveled the House closed to prevent them from having a chance, as top GOP leaders huddled down the hall to try to figure a way out of the mess.
The House was set to hold a pro forma session, but two top Democrats, Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen, demanded to be recognized to try to force a vote on the two-month extension. House Republicans have blocked that deal, which is strongly backed by President Obama, and are holding out for an extension that covers all of 2012.
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican who was serving as the presiding officer, banged his gavel to close the session Wednesday morning even as the two Democrats were demanding to be recognized.
“You’re walking out, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers,,” Mr. Hoyer shouted after Mr.