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. steve

    well, well, well
    somebody didn't "cave" in

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. MAC

    Everyones taxes will raise now, it is too bad that the democrats will not let the tax increase pay off the national debt, instead it will go to more social welfare programs and to Obama Care since they knew that it was not deficit neutral when they passed it in the first place.

    December 9, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. dave

    Either way the sky won't fall, the sun will still rise and the rivers flow...
    Better stop the not paid for spending now than keep distributing freebees with interests tagged on later.

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. SP

    Thanks for the tax increase, Democrats and Obama! 🙁

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Patrick from Minnesota

    This is the one bill brought up by President Obama that I am glad was defeated.

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Chris~Albany, NY

    Sorry Prez, the second you proposed a tax cut for Joe Schmo making $500 million a year, you lost us. Pz out man!

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. prentog

    Wow, My paycheck will definitely be affected. However, The President should not cave to Republicans saying that they will not work in the congress to pass other measures if one issue does not go in their favor. Open your mouth up and let the American people know what other measures they refuse to work on. All they have talked about is the national debt and if they want to increase that debt on the backs of the middle class bye extending this tax cut for the wealthy that is ALL the White House and democrats should be talking about. We the people hate blatant hypocrisy and being made a fool of.

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People

    Happy to hear the Dems found their voices!

    Make the temporary tax cuts extention only effective for one year just like the UI extendtion, NOT 2 years as it is currently.

    And what is up with decreasing the 2% tax for SS contributions? Did I miss something and SS no longer needs every dime it can find?

    The estate tax help 39,000 families who do not need it, back to the old formula.

    And for the record, I would be happy to give uo my tax cut to cut back on the 900 billion, because we simply cannot afford it and it is irresponsible.

    Keep fighting the fight House Dems!

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. MiaGal

    About time Congress stood up. I'm only sorry it took them so long.

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Carl Justus

    The bill needs to be reworked and leave the estate tax along. They also need to raise the taxes on the rich. They are the ones who have made millions on the backs of the working men and women of this country and it is time they pay their share of the costs.

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. David

    Let me get this straight. President Obama laid out a plan so my payroll tax will go down and my paycheck will go up starting in January, and it is being shot down by the House Democrats? What does he need to do to help the middle class in this Country? I cannot afford to lose another $100 per paycheck anymore. The middle class is stretched to the max and cannot afford another charge on our payroll. The Bush tax cuts shold not include every person in America any longer. It should only apply to the majority of the population that makes less than $250K. $100 a paycheck is 5% or my take home pay. $100 for a person taking home $250K is less than 1/2%. I am tired of the middle class getting punked by the Republicans. Obama is trying to reach a mid point and help the middle class and he gets blocked. If this keeps up, I will need to cancel our phone line and turn the heat down even more.

    December 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. sweeperq

    Let the rates go back up and have Reid gridlock the Senate until the Republicans agree to debate the middle class tax break that the House already passed. If they want to hold up the tax cut for 98% of the public to protect their top 2%, let them do it and see how they fare next election. When they take control of the house let them pass their own bill for those top 2% and let it be debated separately.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. dagwud

    How nice. House Democrats have an opportunity to extend billions of dollars in tax cuts for middle class households and to extend unemployment payments for those who are without work in this economy.

    But they won't do it because they won't compromise on the issue of tax increases for the wealthy. In a little more than one month after a "shellacking" in an election, they've become "the Party of No." How the wheels turn.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. jledbetternv

    About time the Democrats grew spines. It's a shame it had to be against their own President and not against the GOP directly for the past 4 years, but when Obama stands with them, it's what you gotta do.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Cesar

    Well.....America you got two wars that have cost trillions on trillions and now it is time to pay up. You wanted that mini mansion, boats, smartphone with 2yr contracts and it is time to pay up. This is America and nothing comes without a price and it's to bad many Americans to not understand that.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. cmunson

    A sincere thank you to the House of Representatives! The package was financially irresponsible, and a further strain on the economy. How long do we continue to mortgage our future before inflation and interest rates shoot through the roof ala 1970's? Allow tax cuts to expire for those making over $250k; they're obviously well off financially, and the millionaires of this great country are fiscally responsible enough to understand the long term repercussions of continuing the negative balance sheet of our government on the country.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. MNLiberal

    I agree that they should NOT pass Obama's compromise. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of the members of the lib base who hates Obama all of a sudden, I'm more mad at our useless Dem senators who don't vote like Dems and force Obama into these positions. But this plan, while good for the unemployed, shouldn't pass. The Repubs may be holding the middle-class hostage, but how about we do the same? We're the majority right now. What we should do is threaten to let them expire for everyone and be obstinate about it. If the Repubs are genuine about their own "commitment" to the middle class tax cuts, they'll come around to our side. Of course, the issue is that the Repubs are smart enough to know that the Average American will blame Obama and the Dems for his middle-class tax hike even if the Repubs are the reason it happens, so they could just let that happen because the interests of the country do not supersede the interests of their own party's ambition and lobbyist friends.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Katherine

    First it was the Republicans that were going to keep us from keeping our tax cut, now it's the Democrats. What confirmation that these folks are just in it for themselves and of course we will be the ones who suffer because of it.

    They act like their doing it for "The American People", but I think it's pretty evident that is not the case. It's all about politics and power, and little or nothing about "The American People". We are actually just their dupes (Republicans and Democrats).

    Maybe since it seems so difficult for them to do their jobs, we should stop voting for either party. Maybe it's time for a third or fourth or fifth party. Lord knows that both sides have had majorities and the presidency in the last 20 years and neither party has been able to parlay that advantage into much meaningful work.

    No more Republican and Democratic strangle holds on our government, term limits and mandatory retirement might prevent some of those people being in office so long, they've practically grown into the furniture, and many have long ago forgotten who they are there to serve. If that was ever really their intent. Maybe they all just consider us morons to be manipulated for their own purposes.

    I have no confidence in the ability of any sitting congressman or senator to do a competent job. It's time to clean house people. Not just keep going back and forth between two wretched alternatives. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It's time to quit doing the same thing.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. concern1818

    Great! This is the end of the Deomcratic Party. They are trying to steal the hard eearned money from regular folks. When did a family making $250,000 become millionares? LISTEN DEMOCRATS, IS NOT YOUR MONEY TO TAKE!!!

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. John B

    Go House! This President should be voted out.. I can't believe I voted for him. Doe he not know how to do anything? He should've kept on with the tax cuts for everyone but the wealthy. If the republicans then knocked it down, then have all democrats just keep repeating over and over that the Republcian party is the reason your cuts are not continuing. Same thing for Unemployment, if republicans knock that down- just keep repeating how they only want breaks for the wealthy. The either way he wins. If they vote it down, he will will be getting extra money and can use it to begin digging the country out of this mess. And yet still blame the Republicans for not giving the tax cuts or the unemployment benefits. And next election, people may vote them out. OR If they vote for it, then he gets what he wanted in the first place.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Rick CT

    The Dems just proved that it is far more important to them to try to throw the so-called rich under the bus than it is to hold the line on taxes for the middle class, extend unemployment benefits and impliment actions would would create jobs. This is just why many of them were voted out. The new Congress can't start soon enough.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Veronica Dance

    For all these people criticizing the President is ridiculous.I am very upset.This president is trying to help america get on track and have his own party not supporting him.This president is trying to approve america and cant get work done because people in his party dont have faith in his decision is exactly the reason why this country is failing because important bills that need to be passed cant get passed because people are just arrogant.I am in middle class and I agree with the president this will help everyone for now but he has 2 years to get things in work he trying to do what has to be done if he dont he will have 2 million people that are unemployed in a bad situation but democrats in his party claim they are worried about americans the truth is they not.They worrie aout rich getting rich if they worry about getting rich and worry about middle class and unemployed getting poorer .obama I support 100 percent.Hopefully I can work in your party and show dedication because its lacking in your party.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. nathanial lance

    When Obama announced this deal, he made it sound like a done deal. Now supporters are getting hit from both the left and the right while the clock is ticking to the end of the year. No one wants to see their taxes rise as the ball in times square falls. Everyone needs to relax, pass this bill, so we can get at least some stability in the economy, and then worry about the other specifics in the next congress. please read more on the tax cut deal at

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. gary wilkinson

    The conventional wisdom seems to be that Obama got fleeced in the tax deal. I think it's the Republicans who got fleeced. Obama got jwhat amounts to @ a $700 billion stimulus package most of which benefits the middle class. The richest taxpayers can be dealt with later and will have to be since there is no practical way to reduce the deficit by only reducing spending – something that will be clear in two years. The temporary tax breaks for the rich is a very small price to pay for what Obama got for the middle class.

    December 9, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. travis fisher

    Democrats lol Im surprised they are foolish take blame for a poor decision and display of stubborness hopefully people republican sooner than later.

    December 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15