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. johnkc

    Let the tax cuts expire. We cannot afford to extend tax cuts when we borrow 40 cents of every dollar the government spends. To borrow more money from China, I say not. We have had these tax cuts for eight years, and I don't think they have helped us a bit. The only thing that they have done is widen the gap between rich and the middle class. Let them expire.

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Tom

    The President, trying to be more progressive and moderate, now has his own party taking a hard stance. This is very similar to the GOP's hard line position. President Obama is trying to move things forward, and I give him credit for that. Now, the Dems and GOP are preparing for battle at the sake of the American people.

    I am a liberal, proud of it. But lets be real, why did the Democratic leadership in Congress wait this long to begin with? The truth is, we all saw a GOP victory in the last election materializing many months ago, yet the Congress waited and waited. Now, President Obama has little leverage and with the deadlines almost upon us, didn't have much to work with, thanks to the Congress! Shame on Pelosi and Reid, for not addressing this much earlier! Now, they are working to ensure a GOP victory in 2012!?? FOOLS!

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Namebill

    How bout cutting spending 10 percent a year until your at 50 percent of fed govt. Eliminate fed pensions. Let them rely on soc security like everybody else. We are starting to sound like europe

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Oprah's Minge

    Awesome! Finally the Dems show they have some b@ll$! There's no way we can reduce the deficit and maintain these tax cuts for the filthy rich. The Republicans should have passed the Democratic bill that extended tax cuts for those making over $1 Million. We know who the really represent now: billionaires! And that is all.

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Denny

    Is everyone in this city worthless

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Jan

    I am sorry, but $15.00 a week in my pay check does nothing... My husband did not work for almost a year and has taken a job for less money the unemployment. The Reps do not care about the middle class and never will, remember you voted for them The trickle down does not work for me!!!

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. J.Howard

    This party has NO cohesion! Bush could've jumped off a cliff and every Republican would've been totally behind him. Dems are so divided and weak in their message! American politics – a big joke! Nothing but sound bites and posturing.

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Rob in NC

    So now we are going to raise taxes on everyone, Republicans can blame the Democrats, and because of the increased revenue they will appear to lower the deficit. Way to go Dems!!!! Really did you not see this coming??? I hope everyone enjoys being a conservative because with every decision these morons make it's more and more likely we are all going to be spoonfed conservative ideology the rest of our lives.

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. KEA

    Look hard at the vote count for those that will remain after January 1,
    keep a list and vote that list out of office at the next opportunity...
    If we, in the middle class, end up without the existing tax cuts that
    were set up by the Bush administration and the proposed additions
    from the White House, the Republican "Tsunami" in the recent election
    will look like a bathtub ripple compared to the next election! Trillions
    for Healthcare jammed down our throat, and ego-driven rejection
    of a tax package that is given economists stamp of approval for
    benefiting the economy...Vote them out!!

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Pete

    So now the Democrats are the obstructionists? What a cluster-f$%k. I sure do wish there was a way to reboot the system and throw every one of these dolts out of Congress.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Chas in Iowa

    Tell me about having more money in my pocket for tuition. I need it as the government sees in it's infinite wisdom to loan big business and banks money at less than 1% yet they want to charge me 9% for a student loan. Tell me how that works! Before I graduate I will already owe more than twice the amount of the tuition cost when I make my fist payment. and if I follow the payment schedule as it is now I will end up paying three times the cost of the tuition before it is paid off.
    Those same banks will pay about a total of 8% on the original amount.
    Another example of how the government is set up to benefit the rich.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Ali Baseri

    American middle class are hurting for jobs, losing their houses, and we have silver spoon and grey poupon individuals outsourcing labor and getting a tax break. Perhaps this sends a message to the commander in chief to stay the course and maintain his focus on his priorities... the middle class. Let the Republicans hold off on tax policy because of their staunch support of bailouts for the rich. They will have to answer for it during the next election.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Rajan

    Bravo Dems! That is a strong message to the GOP to stop using their pressure tactics. As for Obama, I think he will take this opposition from his own very sportively. I can't wait to hear the GOP response!

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. concerned citizen

    It's about time we've stood up to the Republicans. They said take or leave it. We left it. There move. Let the chips fall.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The current admin is screwing up everything that has worked in the past.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Jk

    Another fight of Titans, but the common man will be suffering.... All rich politician they have no clue what happens in the common man's life....

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Mike

    Both parties are just pathetic. Pure Pathetic.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Michelle

    The guy finally tries to do something good and his own party becomes the "Party of No" they've spent the last two years LOUDLY whining about? Where's the media mockery and outcry about this one? The Dems block something so obviously they're right, regardless of what their 'leader' actually sought out bipartisanship to do?

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. texasgreenacres

    way to go let the bush tax cuts expire bush created them you can creat a tax cut package afterwards tha fits the country's needs. don't be pushed around stand your ground. now thats the guts tihis country is looking for in leaders. remember the party of no look at them now. they didn't have a plan then and they still don't.

    December 9, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Randy

    Compromise is required for a functioning democracy. Give a little, get a little.
    The media is encouraging a lack of compromise. As a result, the country is facing death by a thousand cuts.

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. K3Citizen

    I am willing to pay higher taxes if that what it takes to make the USA number one again. How can we lead other countries when we can't even pay our own bills?! The GOP is hypocritical to say fix the economy, but let the rich stay rich.

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Rob Jenkins

    No Barrack obama. $20 a week deosn't help anybody do anything except purchase one or two more chinese made chackis a year. Npothing NADA...... we're done with that. 60 to 70% of the American people want to pay down the debt. You wanna save some real money? Bring home the troops. And I'm not even an anti-war sorta democrat, but we as a country have had enough of this ridiculous sharade that somehow you're a democrat.

    Why don't you go ahead and run as a Republican next go araound.

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. firstpoppa

    Evidently the Democrats have a very short memory. The last election was just over a month ago. THEY LOST 63 SEATS.

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. xactomundo

    Deal? What deal, Joe? The R's got what they wanted for their wealthy donors, and the D's got... only what the country demands for low to medium income earners. I hope the house Democrats will push a bill that lets the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, and reinstates the estate tax. If the Republicans want their version of the bill, then they can take it up when they have the gavel next year. Don't hand them this to them like the president did...

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Matthew

    "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...

    Obviously Obama has not read Paul Krugman recently.

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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