Harkin: Democrats unhappy; "We may object" to suggested deal
December 31st, 2012
11:13 AM ET
2 years ago

Harkin: Democrats unhappy; "We may object" to suggested deal

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Tom Harkin, a veteran Democrat and a leading liberal voice, told CNN Monday that he and other Democrats may try to block the fiscal cliff deal that's being furiously negotiated ahead of the year-end deadline.

"They think Republicans may object? We may object," Harkin told CNN.

The Iowa Democrat said he and other progressives are furious about any suggestion of raising the household income threshold to $450,000 for tax cut extensions. President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to raise rates on households making more than $250,000 a year.

Many Democrats objected to that higher threshold when briefed by their party’s Senate leadership on Sunday, according to Harkin.

Harkin also added he is unhappy that Democrats are considering keeping some or all of the estate tax cut in place, and making the Alternative Minimum Tax patch permanent.

He said progressive senators will meet to discuss tactics Monday morning.

After speaking to CNN, Harkin took to the floor of the Senate with his objections to the deal currently being negotiated.

"If we are going to have some kind of a deal, the deal must be one that really does favor the middle class, the real middle class, those making 30, 50, 60, 70 thousand dollars a year. That's the real middle class in America," Harkin said. "As I see this thing developing, quite frankly, as I have said before no deal is better than a bad deal and this looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up."


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Tom Harkin
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Charlotte

    $450K is ridiculous and Dems need to stand firm. Let's go over the "cliff" (slope) and then start restoring tax cuts from the bottom up – and stop well before $450K.

    December 31, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. jpmichigan

    The Progressives, like conservative tea party members, want their cake and to eat it too. They are the ones who lack compromise. It is not one sided both, Progressive Democrats and tea party Republicans . They are the ones holding the American people hostage. Small business owners who make $250,00 a years are also hit with the Obamacare tax increases, and now the Progressive liberal want to tax them more. No investments or job creation will be made by small business. They only want more money to spend and to H–l with spending cuts.

    December 31, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Dreamer96

    We are going over the cliff....Maybe the New Congress will be better...

    December 31, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. blucaller

    Proud of my Senator Harkin. I don't believe for one minute you high paid media people and that dreadful woman from the Corporate world's Fix The Debt astroturf group care or understand the real world. Kudos to Don Lemon for at least trying to address the fraud you are all perpetrating on America last night even if you glossed over it like it was an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction.

    December 31, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Dreamer96

    Maybe Obama can order the Stock Markets to close down, till after a deal is made....Drastic measure for sure...But if the markets are closed they will not react to "Bad Political News"...Think of the damage the selling of stocks in your 401K will take...The top 2% will buy up those falling stocks...and your 401K will take the loss...and in a month or two those same stocks will have rebounded...and the top 2% will make the profits....

    December 31, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    from the article

    The Iowa Democrat said he and other progressives are furious about any suggestion of raising the household income threshold to $450,000 for tax cut extensions.
    -------------------------
    Why object to it? If the deal means raising rates on those above a $450k, then you know the Tea Party will block it. Let them do your dirty work for you. They've already reject a $1M threshold, what makes him think they'll go for something lower? If he thinks that he's posturing for posterity, then let me be the first to tell him that he sounds like a fool.

    December 31, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. aklaft

    Good. If it is a true compromise, everyone should be unhappy.

    December 31, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. aklaft

    Good, if it is a true compromise, everyone should be unhappy.

    December 31, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    GOP forget 47% comment brought them down in 2012 and reminder for GOP 2014 is getting closer

    December 31, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    The Dems have been caving in to the repubs since Rove and Cheney won the 2000 election. No reason to expect them to stop now.

    December 31, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Haha

    This is what you get when you drag out negotiations too long as Boehner did. Other people realize "Wait a minute! My interests are getting ignored" and start mobilizing and getting involved.
    Boehner may very well have wished he settled last week.

    December 31, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Bill from GA

    If the Dems are going to cave in to the repubs again, they should at least get the Debt Ceiling fiasco out of the way as part of the bargain.

    December 31, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    jpmichigan

    The Progressives, like conservative tea party members, want their cake and to eat it too. They are the ones who lack compromise. It is not one sided both, Progressive Democrats and tea party Republicans . They are the ones holding the American people hostage. Small business owners who make $250,00 a years are also hit with the Obamacare tax increases, and now the Progressive liberal want to tax them more. No investments or job creation will be made by small business. They only want more money to spend and to H–l with spending cuts.
    -----------------
    Liberals are holding the country hostage? What is their demand?

    Have you forgotten that when the first round Bush Tax Cuts were enacted, that Pres. Bush acknowledged that the first round would create significant deficits and so they would be temporary? Have you forgotten that when the second round of BTC's were enacted that economists predicted trillion dollar deficits within a decade? Criticism which lead to VP Dick Cheney answering his critics with the reply, "Deficits don't matter."

    Liberals are quite clear in pointing out what the Tea Party demands, which is cutting taxes for the wealthy at every opportunity.

    December 31, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. mcskadittle

    the only way our government works in compromise and 450k makes sense, that will cover almost all of the small business

    December 31, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Gregory M. Newbold

    $250K and higher IS MORE THAN high enough as a threshold for tax relief. To Harkin`s point, calling anything over $100,000 "middle class" stretches credulity. The Democrats run the risk of being viewed as ridiculously as the Republicans are when they use the term "tax cuts for job creators".

    We need a less selfish world. We need a population that sees itself as a team with some common interests. Instead, we have two parties that are both willing to lock in the wealth transfer that Republicans since Ronald Reagan effected on the middle class. I hope these senators do oppose the highewr threshold. By starting @ $250K, Obama had already given ground.

    December 31, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    mcskadittle

    the only way our government works in compromise and 450k makes sense, that will cover almost all of the small business
    ---------------
    It also raises taxes on people like Mitt Romney, Sheldon Adelson, and he Koch brothers. I give you one guess as to how much Tea Party support this compromise will receive. None. Pass it to the House, I say.

    December 31, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Name lynn

    the republicans an boehner and the democrates may all objects but none of you is really in controll the president obama is what obama should do is go ahead an pass the tax bill an do whatever needs to be done without hurting the poor an middle class people

    December 31, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. myviewis

    mcskadittle

    the only way our government works in compromise and 450k makes sense, that will cover almost all of the small business
    ------------------------------------

    I agree. Democrats want all small businesses to pay higher taxes and Democrats want the Bush Tax Cuts to be cancelled and Democrats don't care if we go over the cliff because they do want to pay higher taxes since they make more money than Republicans. So, let's go over the cliff and get rid of the Bush Tax Cuts and have small businesses and everyone that makes 200K and over pay higher taxes.

    December 31, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. myviewis

    Gregory M. Newbold
    viewed as ridiculously as the Republicans are when they use the term "tax cuts for job creators".
    ---------------------------–

    See, I keep saying it that Democrats don't want "tax cuts" for job creators or employers. Democrats want businesses to pay higher taxes.

    I think President Obama should listen to Democrats (since they are the majority of votes) and nail small businesses with higher taxes so that Democrats will be happy.

    December 31, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Pete

    Democrates are tired of being pushed around and republicans are sweating hoping this sequester deal doesn't explode in their faces,they've created it and it'll be their political downfall...Pres.Obama should stand firm and say no now to anything short of what he wants..Take what he gives you republicans or take a hike because its your careers that will be over if no compremise is made ,not the presidents because he's got an alternate policy that he'll slap in front of them all to sign to help out the 98%ers and stop the cutting of essentials like SocialSecurity ,Medicare and unemployement and republicans have no choice the crosshairs are on you and you know it,get er done guys or else!!

    December 31, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Chumlee

    Dems: Object. Hands off Social Security and Medicare.

    Cut defense spending – we do not need $ 1,000 toilets and $ 200 hammers. CUT DEFENSE SPENDING. STOP
    FEEDING THE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS WHO ARE RIPPING OFF AMERICAN TAXPAYERS.

    Cut defense spending!

    December 31, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Adam Rose

    If red states don't want to raise taxes ever, can we just let them? And then not give any federal tax revenue back to their state? We'd still be one country on matters of defense, sort of like the UK....

    December 31, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Reeaaally

    Way to go, Senator Harkin!!!!!

    December 31, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |