House Democrats defy Obama on tax cut bill
December 9th, 2010
11:32 AM ET
4 years ago

House Democrats defy Obama on tax cut bill

(CNN) - Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.

"This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It's as simple as that," said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

"We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward," he said.

The vote comes a day after Vice President Biden made clear to House Democrats behind closed doors that the deal would unravel if any changes were made.

"Wow did the [White House] mishandle this," a senior House Democratic Source told CNN. "Breathtaking. Members have major substantive concerns and they should have gently guided people to the finish line."

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon said: "They said take it or leave it. We left it."

He added the caucus resolution is technically not binding, but believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "will follow the wishes of her caucus."

The vote came less than an hour after Obama himself urged Congress to pass the compromise he struck with GOP leaders earlier this week and warned that failing to do it could cost jobs.

"There is an important debate on Capitol Hill that will determine in part whether our economy moves backward or forward," Obama said at an Export Council meeting. "The bipartisan framework we have forged on taxes will not only protect working Americans from seeing a major tax increase on January 1, it will provide businesses with incentives to invest, grow, and hire."

"Every economist I have talked to or read over the last couple of days acknowledges that this agreement would boost economic growth in the coming years and has the potential to create millions of jobs," Obama continued. "The average American family will start 2011 knowing that there will be more money to pay the bills each month, more money to pay for tuition, more money to raise their children," he said. "But if this framework fails, the reverse is true. Americans will see it in smaller paychecks that will have the effect of fewer jobs."

– CNN's Alexander Mooney contributed to this report


Filed under: House Democrats • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. Ashamed

    No look who is the party of NO! The democrats DID not get the message from the people. Being in the middle class, I am scared to death how I am going to raise my family if they up the taxes. Seems to me the democrats don't care since they are sitting high and don't have the worries the rest of us have.

    December 9, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. screech99

    Wow – The democrats keep blaming the failing economy on Bush and the GOP, but it is apparent that their ideology and class warfare is more important than fixing the problem.

    December 9, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Turtle42

    The compromise should die. Adding to the deficit is not sound policy any longer. Bring tax rates back to where they were during the Clinton years - a time of budget surpluses AND strong economic growth!

    Implement across-the-board PayGo now!

    December 9, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Laurie

    I understand why the Democrats are pushing back on this bill. The Republicans are trying to cram their agenda down our throats by using the threat of their future power to strong arm Obama into a compromise without his party's input. There are 2 really bad ideas in the bill: extending unemployment and giving the most wealthy continued tax breaks. If this is the best Congress can come up with, may as well punt the ball into January.

    December 9, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. dufus

    Divided we fall
    Even Dufus knows that

    December 9, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. JKS

    Can anyone say double dip?

    December 9, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Pan3

    Good for them! Power to the people! No more pandering to the rich, it has been proven in the past that the "trickle down" economics doesn't work.

    December 9, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. phil

    Wow the new pelosi party of NO

    December 9, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Cha-Chi

    The lame Duck is cooked! Almost comical, but did anyone who voted for Obama think the first term Senator had the ability to lead?

    I guess compromise is a tough pill to swallow, after two years of ignoring the other party.

    Congrats to Harry and Nancy, you just undermined your boss. The new boss (the American people) will have the last laugh come January.

    December 9, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Doug

    I have to say I agree with the Democrats on this issue and am glad to hear they are challenging the President. Obama is wrong and the Republicans are wrong. The real message is not: "The average American family will start 2011 knowing that there will be more money to pay the bills each month, more money to pay for tuition, more money to raise their children," it is, hey Americans, we have to pay our bills and not run pyramid schemes anymore, so we have to pay the bills of OUR government, just like for our families, household, etc... These tax cuts are a few % points more, which for most Americans is probably only $20-$30 per pay period. Mr. Obama and Republicans, $20-$30 per pay period is not going to help cover anyones tuition, gas bill, mortagage, etc... in the real world. We need to starting trying to balance our budget so other world investors see stability in the U.S. again so they will invest here, which will create jobs.

    December 9, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Hopalong

    Dems are just being babies at this point. They've spent the last two years addicted to political power like it was crack and now that they're going to have to give up some of that power, they're throwing a hissy fit. They'll blame the republicans though, who will in turn blame the dems. Funny though how the dems spent so much time referring to repubs as the party of 'no' even though they never let any substantive republican ideas hit the table, and now when there's a bill with an actual compromise it's the dems saying 'no' because they want it their way or no way.

    December 9, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. J

    It's good to see that even if Obama has no cojones, the democrats in Congress are willing to do what they were elected to do: Represent America. Congrats House Democrats. Obama, man up.

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. John

    It is about time.

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Keksi

    Is Obama Republican now?

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Namelarenta harris

    im 1 unemployment check away from being homeless

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Name joe

    It is sad to see my party Dem acting so stupid. We need tax breaks

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Aditya Simha

    Has President Obama only spoken to/read Economists from the Republican camp? I'm guessing he hasn't read Paul Krugman's recent articles, or other such liberal economists? Either case, it'll be interesting to see how Obama will fare in the remaining two years – I think at this point, nobody likes him – conservatives or liberals or moderates. Conservatives hate him on principle, liberals hate him for being too accommodating, while moderates (independents) are the most unreliable bunch of all. They usually never support anyone completely!

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. dgmgdm

    double edged sword is syealing our money and the only ones that say so are crazy

    December 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. alebiglio

    Obama, you are a good man but you are too rational and now, in this period of republican war cries we need a strong leader to show them that intimidation is not going to work, that the weakest parts of society that cannot have a voice by themselves need a champion that shouts in the face of the arrogant right that we will not accept their game and that they will not be able to do whatever they want just because they have the money! I am afraid you are NOT that leader......

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Ken

    WOW...the battle lines have been drawn. Obama vs. the Dems.

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Frank Baylor

    I hope they do kill the bill. America has got to wake up and take a good look at who actually came up with this bill. The rich and super rich corporations that have funded the electoral process for decades. That goes on all parties that are in Congress. Think about it....Who in their right mind would be able to push a bill that gives 900 billion in tax breaks to corporations that won't invest it? Money saved that would pay down the debt and pay for the unemployment extensions and tax breaks for the middle and poverty class that will invest it back into the system. Hears an idea, on bills that propose tax cuts or increases, use todays technology to put on the floor of both house an electronic voter board where real people can cast their vote live so that way the house and senate can see what the people by the people want!

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Mikem

    Mission Impossible – Politics as Usual – for the next two years these bickering A-holes will hold the county hostage – there will be hostages takers and blackmailers taking a huge chunk of the national debt (their salary) and doing nothing. In my world, I would be fired. Why is it that the people can't impeach each and every one of these elected scumbags and start over, cause this is not how I wish to be represented.

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Harold Trainer

    Obama's compromise, or some say capitulation, on extending the Bush tax cuts plus adding more cuts, will increase the national debt by over a trillion dollars when the unnecessary wars are added. Our government will have to borrow the money to pay for the cuts and continuation of the wars.

    This will increase inflation, interest rates and the costs of everyday living for the middle and lower class working Americans. It will adversely affect job creation and the standard of living for Americans.

    The next step will be to cut spending and the Republicans will focus on earned entitlements such as social security, medicaid, medicare and military health benefits. Obama has already said he favors a 1.4% pay increase for the military. This is the lowest pay raise in almost 50 years and is a strange thanks for those who have been fighting our wars for ten years. This really adds up to a tax increase for the middle class and our most needy.

    All of this while big business and the most wealthy receive huge tax cuts ostensibly to stimulate the economy and earn more for investors. Job creation will be very uncertain.

    This is another victory for the Republicans who are willing to borrow from the future of the elderly, our kids and grandkids to continue the unnecessary wars and support the most wealthy Americans.

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. CalDem

    Maybe Obama can run as a Republican next time.

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. greg

    Just when i am ready to throw the Repubs under the bus, the Democrats leap under it on their own.

    December 9, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15