WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top House Republicans rebelled Sunday against a bipartisan, Senate approved bill extending payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for two months, reigniting a politically fueled holiday-season clash that had seemed all but doused.
The House GOP defiance cast uncertainty over how quickly Congress would forestall a tax increase otherwise heading straight at 160 million workers beginning New Year's Day.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it could be finished within two weeks, which suggested that lawmakers might have to spend much of their usual holiday break battling each other in the Capitol.
A day after rank-and-file House GOP lawmakers used a conference call to spew venom against the Senate-passed bill, Boehner said he opposed the legislation and wanted congressional bargainers to craft a new, year-long version.
"The president said we shouldn't be going anywhere without getting our work done," Boehner said on NBC's "Meet the Press," referring to President Barack Obama's oft-repeated promise to postpone his Christmastime trip to Hawaii if the legislation was not finished. "Let's get our work done, let's do this for a year."