House Democrats defy Obama on tax cut bill
December 9th, 2010
11:32 AM ET
11 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. gt

    great job..!!!! hang tough !!!!!! billionares can handel it....millionares can too....!!! dont let the people down !!!

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. drinky

    O-bama...bending over backward to appease the filthy rich is O-nnoying me.

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Anne-Florida

    I feel they are wrong. When they had a chance to speak up about these tax cuts, they were silent. Now they want to be heard and it is too late. Yes, the Republicans have them over a barrel but they only have themselves to blame.

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. bcasero

    At least some Democrats are showing a backbone.

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. Sara

    It's about time. Block the bill 🙂

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    This is why Americans gave the House of Represenatives to the Republicans starting in January. The huge spending and deal making and stimulating the Democrats have done over the past 2 years have only increased the unemployment rate.

    It's time for a new strategy but purely for political reasons and against the good of the American public and economy the Democrats are too caught up in their own selfishness to cooperate. Sad little people.

    Fortunately in January Americans will have a House of Representatives run by people who understand economics.

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Will

    Who's the "party of no" again?

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Good


    The American government is drowning in red ink. There should be more taxes, especially on people making $100,000+/year

    December 9, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. amy

    this is so absurb...we need our unemployment benefits!!! americans need those to survice while they find a job..pass this NOW

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. CSnord

    Obama has lost his own party, now. If the US ran a parliamentary government, he would probably get a vote of no confidence now. The two parties are tearing the country apart.

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Whatever

    YOU DEMS HAVE BEEN SITTING ON YOUR HANDS FOR MONTHS NOW!!! GET BUSY AND GET IT DONE!!!! I guess the President finally snapped you ALL into reality!!!!!

    I'm sure most people will say this that if our taxes go up because you ALL WAITED until NOW to DO SOMETHING then you ALL will be voted out in 2012!!! If the economy grows and jobs are created (those are more tax payers – – DUH)!!!!

    I'm sick of this crazy political stuff!!!!!!

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Byron

    I knew the Dems would block it, and Obama knew it too. It was all strategy! Obama knows what he's doing and he's doing it better than anybody, he's smarter better and more awesome than any other president ever!

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. S. Brown

    It seems pointless of a president to negotiate with opposition Congressional leaders, since he cannot guarantee the votes of his own party.

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. jorge washinsen

    Democrats remind me of Assange,teed off and no future.Most will be looking for a job after New Years.

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Frank, San Diego

    I am as disappointed by this compromise as anyone. But the House Democrats have to recognize that an extension of unemployment insurance is vital at this point. Because of the Senate's rules, Republicans will always have the ability to hold America hostage in pursuit of benefits for the wealthy. If you don't like it, take it up with the fools who voted them into office.

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. David

    And here we go again...

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Joe begins....the flogging back and forth....In all honesty folks....this country has been, and will be a broken system, and i don't see an end in sight. Why am i still here? Oh...that's right because i wouldn't know where to start if i start somewhere else.

    December 9, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. betterdays

    We only make $85K combined, but my wife and I will be happy to pay our extra $1,200 next year. After this stupid move by Dems, whatever I'm foced to pay is practically a donation to the Republican Party at this point, anyway.

    Now who's obstructing, hmmm?

    Seriously, I hope this is the end of the discussion. No more unemployment extensions! Tax rates on the "poorest" Americans will be 50% higher next year than they were in 2010! Ha ha! Priceless.

    "If we can't punish only the wealthy, we'll punish everyone." Nice work, Dems!

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. libnausea

    LOL. New tax rates will go into effect January 1st. Then the Republican House will pass a bill, which will also pass the Senate (20 plus liberal Senators up for reelection), thus forcing Mr. Obama to be come the President of No... not. To all the liberals who hate the current structure, wait to see what you end up with! Schmucks.

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Old4ester

    I guess the rest of the democrats want to be voted out of office in their next election cycle

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Guest

    Wow–Tantrum much?

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Jack

    Wow, did not see this one coming!

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Their so-called defiance of the package is NOT based on anyhting other than the fact that the Democraps are belatedly feeling like the GObP's stomping mat. They should've felt this way A LOOOONG time ago, not now, at the eleventh-hour. Aside form risking blowing the package deal, they are also putting the President in a precarious position, and ONCE AGAIN appearing disparate, and hopelessly unhinged, and divided to the electorate.
    What is wrong with these people? This lack of unity and of a clear message is exactly what screwed us November 2nd.
    Thhis package is NOT ideal, but it is pretty good all things considered, and it surely beats the BLANK that the Democraps have in mind now. Additionally, the importance of Democrats SUPPORTIING the President and standing together for a change cannot be overstated.
    Bunch of idiots!!!

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Will Dweezy

    So now House Democrats aren't listening to Obama either!? Maybe it's time to pack it in, Barry.

    PS. And where is that birth certificate?

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Jerlwayne

    As a frustrated progressive, I am excited to see a spinal cord emerge among Democratic reps. Perhaps if this were a natural phenomenon the November results would have been different. Liberal voters lost much faith in the Democratic majority who failed to show any stones for two years, and as a result many progressives failed to show at the polls. I sadly expect this to backfire as their weak knees win out...but I can still have Hope can't I??

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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