Pelosi threatens House vote on tax bill
December 2nd, 2012
03:14 PM ET
1 year ago

Pelosi threatens House vote on tax bill

(CNN) - Warning that "the clock is ticking," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday reiterated her threat to bring about a House vote on a bill that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for families making $250,000, but would allow the tax breaks to expire for those above the threshold.

The Democratic-controlled Senate already passed its version of the bill in July, with strong support from President Barack Obama.

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"If Speaker Boehner refuses to schedule this widely-supported bill for a vote, Democrats will introduce a discharge petition to automatically bring to the floor the Senate-passed middle class tax cuts," Pelosi said in a statement. The Democratic leader first warned of a discharge petition on Friday.

Under a "discharge petition," a bill can be brought to the floor without going through a committee or without approval of House leadership. The bill would need an absolute majority - 218 votes - to pass.

While there are only 192 Democrats in the House, some Republicans have expressed support for the bill.

The tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year and are the largest point of contention in the deficit-reduction debate. Boehner and Republicans want to extend the cuts for all Americans, while Democrats want to do so for about 98% of the public, allowing taxes to increase on the top 2% of income earners.

Republican Rep. Tom Cole last week made headlines when he urged his party to pass the tax cut extension for the 98% of Americans now and deal with the rest at a later date. Boehner sharply disagreed with Cole, but a few other Republican members subsequently sided with Cole.

The Oklahoma congressman said he would continue to discuss his suggestion with colleagues, and predicted that if it came up for a vote, it would pass the Republican-led House.

Recent polls show public support for such a bill. According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released last week, 56% of people said taxes should be kept high to help lower-income people, while 36% said taxes should be kept low to create jobs.

With the looming end-of-the-year deadline, Pelosi stressed a sense of urgency in her statement Sunday.

"We must find a bold, balanced and fair agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. The clock is ticking and stalemates are a luxury we cannot afford."

CNN’s Tom Cohen and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Fiscal Cliff • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Johnt

    Ha, Pelosi & Obama derided the Bush tax cuts as just for the rich since inception, now want to extend them, not once, but again.

    December 2, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. NameCWS720

    I don't always agree with Nancy, but God bless her this time around! Someone needs to take charge and it apparently isn't going to be John Boehner!

    December 2, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    I think pelosi needs to be strong, do not yield to GOP thugs. Hand off SS and Medicare which are national dire needs.

    December 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. littleme

    Good for Senator Pelosi!

    December 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. rick rhodes

    please do so. middle class americans have been through enough. create some certainty by passing the senate bill immediately.

    December 2, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. BailOutBob

    I vehemently object to the politically expedient categorization of households earning $250,000 (or even somewhat above) as "rich".  In parts of the country, such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles and some other places, households earning $250,000 (or even somewhat above) are far from "rich".  After federal and high state and local income taxes, health insurance, high rents or mortgages, student loans, child care or education expenses, car payments and living expenses, there is relatively  little left.  (The net figure at the end bears little resemblance to the headline gross figure Obama is focused on). Most of these folks are not even close to millionaires and never will be. They struggle daily with figuring out how to get their children the best education possible, how to deal with unanticipated medical expenses and how to find some money to save for retirement. 

    I'm not suggesting these people deserve any sympathy and that there aren't people much worse off in these high cost of living centers and who struggle much more and deserve assistance. I'd just like to counter the false perception that folks earning $250,000 (or even somewhat more) in these high cost of living centers are "rich" who should be derided, demonized and made to pay their so-called "fair share".  According to bloomberg.com, as of September 2013, average rents in Manhattan were $2,785 per month for a one bedroom, $4,032 for a two-bedroom and $5,320 for a three-bedroom.  Note that this is for all of Manhattan. That three-bedroom in TriBeCa averages $9,495 per month. I am afraid a $50,000 salary, which many Americans in other parts of the country would be more than happy to have, would not even cover annual rent for a one-bedroom.  And don't even bother thinking about buying. That 1,100 sq. ft. two-bedroom would easily cost $1.5 million, with 20% cash down required. 

    Yes, these people choose to live there, but they shouldn't be vilified for doing so. Besides, the cost of living is not that much lower in the surrounding burbs. If the President wants to talk about "fairness", there should be some indexing to recognize the fact that cost of living varies greatly across the country.  Yet, his demonizing these $250,000 earning households plays well in Peoria and elsewhere across middle America. Besides, these so-called "rich" folks are a very small minority and most would probably be scared to speak up, lest they be ridiculed by the liberal media and folks on CNN blogs.  But, the reality is that many of these households struggle like the rest of the so-called "middle class" across America.  You take even $1,000 out of their pockets, and I guarantee you they will either spend less, dip into their savings or sadly, like our government, borrow. That certainly won't help the economy, in the short and long term. 

    December 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. poopmeister

    Don't worry people, if the tax hike happens for $250,000 plus earners, we will still see job growth. It's all smoke and mirrors on the GOP side. Rich people will still remain rich and it will set us in the direction of controlling the debt. Rich people seem to have the money needed to put out their agenda, that's why the GOP expresses concern...it's in their financial interests.

    December 2, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. poopmeister

    Oh sure, that one is gonna go through but the last 6 didn't....what the heck?

    December 2, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Just do it and let those GOP Congressional Lawyers fight among themselves, that's all they are good for anyway; they could care less about the American people.

    December 2, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    P.S. We want the names of everyone of these Congress people who refused to do nothing so we don't send their sorry do nothings back to Washington.

    December 2, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Jean Sartre

    Just DO IT, NANCY!

    The only thing the Norquist lovers in the Republican Party understand is FORCE!

    They will never do what is right for America, unless YOU and PRESIDENT OBAMA FORCE THEM!

    December 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. LogiK

    Don't give in- let Taxes go up for everyone!

    December 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Hillcrester

    There will not be enough votes to pass a discharge petition. This is all out partisan war, and at least at this point, the GOP House members will not risk the punitive effects of defying the leadership.

    December 2, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. McShannon

    Lobbyist pressure and the money they can promise certainly affects the core of legislation and the integrity of the vote to enact it. Much cleansing in Congress is needed and that anyone would in addition to this Congressional travesty honor a pledge to Mr. Nobody Norquist is not leadership I admire.

    December 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Do it Nancy! Any Republican who votes against it is perfect for a recall election. When we throw them out the sugar-daddies they're ptotecting can give them actual jobs rather than paying them covertly.

    December 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Phyllis G Williams

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God..ordained"."They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation" "Ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake" "Render therefore to all their dues" "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour" and will clear any FISCAL CLIFF(Romans 13)

    December 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Katie

    Taxable income of $250,000 is far different that gross income of $250,000. The average gross income which yields a taxable income of $250,000 is $562,000 in earnings.

    December 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Gary

    Everyone's taxes need to go back up, time to pay finally for those two wars.

    December 2, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. JPNAmerican

    Wow Boener you have a choice to either bring it to the floor and take whatever credit you can, or Pelosi will force it to the floor and take all the credit scoring a big win for Democrats and the American people.

    December 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    Good move

    December 2, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    That could be very dangerous for Pelosi. That could make some people mad enough to take matters into their own hands.

    December 2, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Steve

    Republican congressmen and women should dress like NASCAR drivers. Proudly wearing their sponsors names on there uniforms.

    December 2, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. BailOutBob

    –Katie

    Please show me the math on that. I can't imagine that's accurate. That, or you have a very good accountant.

    December 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. jordans

    Bail out, only the income OVER 250,000 will be taxed at the top rate ( approx 3% more than last years top rate. Do you know that for 60 years we had top tax rates ranging from 70-94%, and fortunes were made and jobs created. Get over the top rate issue. Of course no one making exactly 250K is rich but they are very well able to pay 3% more of their income over 250K in tax. Even if the rate goes to 39% it is one of the more favorable top rates in our tax history.

    December 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. trex

    .........this is gonna be .....SO COOL.... The gop will most cetainly PUSH US OVER "THE CLIFF". Then in mid January, Obama will push a bill to reduce taxes on the bottom 98% ONLY. The gop is gonna PO OP THEIR PANTZ.....

    December 2, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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