CBS Forwards Harry Reid's 'Lecture' of GOP and His Hope They 'Learned a Lesson'

On Friday's CBS Evening News, as correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report to inform viewers that the House of Representatives had approved the Senate plan for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, Attkisson included a clip of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid directing a "lecture" at and blaming House Republican freshmen for the delay, as she recounted his hope that they had "learned a lesson."

While the report included two soundbites from Democrats that allowed them to put forth some of their message - in the form of one clip each from Reid and President Obama - the CBS correspondent only included a couple of brief non-political clips of House Speaker John Boehner as the only Republican afforded a soundbite. (Video below)

 

After anchor Scott Pelley noted that Republicans had wanted to hold out for a longer-term tax cut deal, Attkisson began her report by calling the developments a "decisive PR victory" for Democrats:

A week ago, nobody predicted Democrats would win such a decisive PR victory as tax cutters looking out for middle class workers while Republicans stood in the way. House Republicans failed at their attempt to hold out for a full one-year extension of the payroll tax cut. Instead, it's renewed for just two months.

After recounting the passage of the tax cut plan in the House, Attkisson turned her attention to Reid:

SHARYL ATTKISSON: The Democrats' leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, took the chance to lecture House Republicans whom he blamed for all the trouble.

HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Everything we do around here does not have to wind up in a fight. That isn't the way things need to be.

ATTKISSON: Reid specifically directed his remarks to House freshmen and said that he hoped they'd learned a lesson.

Pelley then noted that many of the House Republicans who opposed the compromise are from the Tea Party faction.

Below are complete video and transcript of the report from the Friday, December 23, CBS Evening News:

SCOTT PELLEY: Good evening. No holiday tax increase. After a week-long standoff, the Senate, House, and President came together on a two-month extension of the temporary cut in Social Security payroll taxes. A year ago, that tax rate was lowered from 6.2 percent to 4.2. And for a lot of families, that comes to about 80 bucks a month. House Republicans wanted a longer extension, and they threatened to let the tax cut expire if they didn't get their way. But today they backed down, and the President was quick to grab his pen. Sharyl Attkisson has been covering from the Capitol to the White House.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I said it was critical for Congress not to go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans, and I'm pleased to say that they've got it done.

SHARYL ATTKISSON: The President couldn't have asked for a better sendoff for his Hawaii holiday. A week ago, nobody predicted Democrats would win such a decisive PR victory as tax cutters looking out for middle class workers while Republicans stood in the way. House Republicans failed at their attempt to hold out for a full one-year extension of the payroll tax cut. Instead, it's renewed for just two months. It saves $1,000 a year for a worker earning a $50,000 salary. The deal was sealed today in a remarkable session of the House and Senate which had basically closed up shop.

JOHN BOEHNER, HOUSE SPEAKER: The House stands adjourned until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27.

ATTKISSON: Leaders were able to use rules to expedite passage of the tax cut extension as long as not one single member objected. Nobody did.

BOEHNER, WHILE WALKING: Happy New Year as well.

ATTKISSON: The Democrats' leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, took the chance to lecture House Republicans whom he blamed for all the trouble.

HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Everything we do around here does not have to wind up in a fight. That isn't the way things need to be.


ATTKISSON: Reid specifically directed his remarks to House freshmen and said that he hoped they'd learned a lesson.

PELLEY: Well, Sharyl, a lot of those freshmen are Tea Party members. I wonder what they said today.

ATTKISSON: Well, if the paper statements that some of them released today are any indication, they are not happy. One of them, for example, released a statement that called the two-month extension a bad deal, quote, "a gimmick," and said that the House had caved yet again to President Obama and Senate Democrats.