December 7th, 2010
02:31 PM ET
11 years ago

House Democrats: No deal yet on tax cuts

Washington (CNN) - House Democratic leaders made it clear Tuesday that President Obama's compromise to extend all the Bush-era the tax cuts for two years was a deal with Republicans, not them–a signal that the plan faces significant opposition from members of his own party.

House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said he's undecided whether he'll vote for the proposal, emphasizing to reporters on Capitol Hill that after the President briefed House Democratic leaders Monday afternoon, "There was at that point in time no consensus or agreement reached by the House leadership."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to Twitter to give her first official reaction, panning the decision to extend the upper income tax breaks. She tweeted, "GOP provisions in tax proposal help only wealthiest 3%, don't create jobs & add tens of billions to deficit. "

Hoyer argued the cost of continuing those tax cuts for the wealthy outweighed any economic benefits. "At a time when the deficit is at unacceptable levels, giving tax cuts to high income Americans is not appropriate. Bringing the deficit down is a principle objective."

Pelosi also released a written statement that didn't explicitly say she opposed the plan, but indicated discussions among Democrats and the White House would continue and repeated her position, "Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to promote policies that produce jobs and economic growth, and to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own."

Asked if House Democrats had any ability to change the proposal, Hoyer responded, "it's got to pass both Houses."

Pressed if President Obama "caved' to Republican demands as some Democrats have said, Hoyer acknowledged, "some are saying that." But he also noted the president was in a tough spot and repeated Democrats' argument that tax cuts for middle income Americans were "being held hostage" by Republicans.

The Maryland Democrat reiterated that he and fellow Democrats oppose some of the major components of the package. "I don't like some of the things that are in it, others don't like things that are in it and feel strongly about that."

Responding to House GOP Leader John Boehner's criticism of the House vote last week on just the middle class tax cuts as "chicken crap," Hoyer cited a recent CBS poll showing most Americans oppose renewing tax cuts for the wealthy, noting, "these folks don't believe that this is an issue about chicken waste. They think it's very serious."

House Democrats will have some time to mull over whether or not they will ultimately vote for the deal, Hoyer said he expects the Senate to vote first on the proposal.

–Follow Deirdre Walsh on Twitter: @deirdrewalshcnn

Filed under: Congress • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Video Guy

    Vote No on this deal. This was a deal with the Devil and it will only but our country in a deeper mess.

    December 7, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Damien

    About time the Dems got some stones. Wish they had a couple to lend Obama.

    December 7, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    Stimulus for the RICH (and a few middle class people) and watch how the RICH spend it – Mercedes – Rolls Royces – other Foreign Cars and Foreign Interest – Investing (see the Market) – Hmm, JOBS???? What JOBS??? I need my money ya'll!!! PATHETIC and TRUE!!!

    December 7, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. kalyn - Missouri

    I wish I could believe that extending the tax cuts for the wealthy would create jobs but my gut feeling is the wealthy will get richer and in Jan we will see the CEO's get their big bonus's as usual, Why can't the tax cuts for the wealthy be given at year end when they show how many jobs they created that year? just a crazy thought

    December 7, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Once again, the REPUGNICANS demonstrate whose side they really are on, and IT'S NOT THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!

    December 7, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Danny Cali

    No, please stay were you are do not deal with Republican, this is wrong for majority of American.

    December 7, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Peggy

    What the heck is the President thinking? You don't cut the social security rate when you need the monies to go into the fund. It should have continued to be raised 1/4 to 1/2% over the past 20 years. I sincerely hope the Democrats do buck the President on this one. He's compromising way to much.

    December 7, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Son of CSM.Wiggins

    Go dems go fight these rachet ass republicans if they pass this cut I will not hire anyone I will line my pockets with more middle class taxpayers money. Laughing at you idiots all the way to the bank

    December 7, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Miles j. Zaremski, Highland Park, Illinois

    Having just finished listening to Obama's news conference, my first impression is, how weak-in-the-knees he has become. His closing remarks were quite strong, trying to equate, as if by metaphor, what he did to get health care reform passed into law. He said that while not perfect, the health bill has the potential to lower premiums for millions. Come on Mr. President, who ya kidding? As you signed health reform into law, the health insurers were jacking up premiums, knowing nothing like a public option stood in their way. Now you tell us that the tax reform bill is good for America by adding billions to the country's debt AND without it being paid for. I voted for you last time, but I am far from certain I would do so again.

    December 7, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. dcmisty

    Classic game of chicken..who blinks first! If house Dems hold fast, will the house Republicans really let the tax breaks expire on 12/31 unless they get way?? Even if they retro the breaks once they are seated in January, it will still create a tax accountant's nightmare! Let's see who certainly won't be the American taxpayer!

    December 7, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. spencer blair

    Steny and Van Hollen best get on the's pulling out of the station.

    December 7, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Ivan Bial

    The right road in not always the most popular. with the size of the deficit , no-one should get a tax break or continue a tax break,

    Fact is taxes need to raised until the deficit is eliminated.

    December 7, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't like it either, but there is the need to get it passed. I would have hoped that it was for only one year, but I think this is a mediocre deal (the best that can be done).

    December 7, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Mountaineer`

    I hope the Democrats will stand and fight the Republicans on the TAX issue. The American public stands behind the Democrats on this vote and its time the Republicans hand was called. Maybe, just maybe, the public will see why their vote for the Republicans were wrong and demand the tax cuts on the wealthiest expire!

    December 7, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. The Other Michael in Houston

    Heck yeah President Obama caved in to the Republicans. President Obama, I supported you during your 2008 campaign, I beleived that you were a man of principle and intergrity. Now I am regretting voting for you. I let you ride on the fact that you still bailed out Wall Street, I let you ride when you decided not to close GITMO. I cannot let you ride on this. As much as I dislike President Bush, I did admire his decisiveness. Right or wrong President Bush stood by his word, no matter how unpopular it was. And this idiot arguement that you a re giving something to the Republicans to get the unempoyment benefits extended????????? Their are jobs out there, people just want to live as they were. If they lost their $200.000 per year income and they cannot afford the things that the accumulated, then they need to let those things go, not have me and the rest of America pay for their crap. Mr. President us people with money do not mind paying a little bit more tax so you caving in is pointless

    December 7, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Orlando Patriot

    How can you Democrats complain about this deal? If anybody should be mad it should be the Republicans!! The Democrats got unemployment insurance extended so the lazy STILL don't have to find a job but the Republicans should be happy for the luxury of not having to pay MORE in taxes? Let's clarify this IS NOT A TAX CUT!!! This is the request to simply not INCREASE taxes on ANYBODY during one of the worst economic declines in over 40 years!!! So Democrats get additional benefits (unemployment insurance extension) but Republicans get nothing – we simply continue to pay the CURRENT tax rates? This is a TERRIBLE deal for the Republicans!!

    December 7, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. bearced

    Hold the line Steny, this is a bad deal for America! Let them raise my taxes as well and see how many votes they get in 2012. They accused the Dems of not listening to the American people on health care but by my calculations more people oppose extending cuts for the wealthy than oppose health care. I guess that means the Republicans think the American people are smarter than the Democrats but Republicans are smarter than the American people.

    December 7, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. chris

    I would love to see the house Dem's stand tough on this. Obama is a total dissapointment, he has no principles he will stand up to the repubs for. He is weak and will be a one termer. He in fact is possibly making S. Palin president in 2012 because his base is leaving him one comprimise at a time.

    December 7, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Rose

    For Obama, I believe that his decision to cave in is all about the 2012 election. He will be able to say if not for him unemployment benefits would have ended and it was the republicans fault for estending the tax cuts for the so called wealthy. I don't consider 250,000.00 wealthy. They are referred to as millionaires and billionaires by most Dems. It just seems that Obama will use this agreement to boost himself for re-election. It is all about him!!!

    December 7, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Ok, House Dems......let's see what you truly are made NO, on Obama's deal.

    December 7, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Uncle Sam

    The libs better hold out for a lifetime extension on unemployment. They were just kicked to the curb because of poor handling of the economy. You would think it might start to sink in pretty soon. Most Americans not the 37% of leftists though don't like your methods.

    December 7, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "The Democrats got unemployment insurance extended so the lazy STILL don't have to find a job but the Republicans should be happy for the luxury of not having to pay MORE in taxes?"

    Hey, angry and gullible, it is proven by reputable studies that (a) unemployment insurance is the #1 tool at our disposal for stabilizing the economy and creating job growth and (b) that tax cuts for the wealthy are the LAST on the list. Go use the Googles to find it. Dept. of Labor and the CBO both agree. The FACT is, Obama and the Dems are fighting the correct fight based on facts, evidence and the opinions and data reviewed by experts, wheras the GOP is fighting based on a debunked ideology and the need to pander to the wealthy who keep them in power in order to continue the trend of redistributing America's wealth to the already wealthy. It's not rocket science. WAKE UP!

    December 7, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. betterdays

    Ok, ok. Poor people are morally superior. Rich people are morally inferior.

    FIne, you are entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that poor people are generally aesthetically inferior. Also, by and large, they are not very bright, and their capacity to comprehend irony and nuance is practically nonexistent. They are amusing to observe, to a certain extent (like circus clowns or performing animals). They contribute little to society, apart form a steady flow of more poor people. Their culture is pitifully devoid of craft, beauty or wit.

    However, the fact that they have less wealth than the rich is totally "unfair," and this, of course, only happens in the United States. Everywhere else on the planet a short order cook with an extensive criminal record is paid the same as an investment banker.

    December 7, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    Obama was exactly correct in agreeing that no Americans should receive a tax increase in this high unemployment environment. Anyone who does not understand how tax increases result in private sector job losses really should keep themselves out of discussions of economics until they get a primer on the basics. This really is a fundamental.

    All the Republicans are doing is what they were sent to Washington for... get the Federal Government to work with economic recovery...not against it. They have a very good start here.

    December 7, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. ED Fl

    I am glad the President sympathizes with us and i am sure we will sympathize with him when we vote out President and a group of the presidents favorite Senators and congressman in 2012. What a shame to go back on the wors you got elected on. You built your own bed now lay in it. I am ashamed to have voted for you.

    December 7, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |