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. Gary

    And there is the problem with the Democrates. Even when Republicans disagree with their own Republican President they would always stay together. The Democrates love to shoot themselves in the foot. This time they look like the bad guys here.

    December 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Gerbil

    Ha ha! Government is for personal entertainment only.

    December 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Sue Lewandowski

    Both parties are "kicking the can down the road" but, I think the deal is probably a means to an end. The economy is slowly improving and a tax hike right now on average incomes, would likely be horrendous. I think the Republicans will come to regret their greed and duplicty – especially since the likes of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates Jr and Sr are quite willing to part with a larger share of their income to try to reduce the deficit. The president is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. The extremes on the right and the left are going to be the ruin of us all if the moderate middle doesn't get a grip and speak up. Shame on Boehner and McConnell – they must thing reality started last week and people don't remember who put us in this mess.

    December 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. WJA

    And THAT is why the Democrats lost the House.... Hope they have someone else to nominate for President in 2012 because this partisan infighting will deliver the White House to the Republicans if Obama is the Party's nominee. Why can't Congress just get to work, pass a budget and focus on making life better for Americans instead of getting into a "mine is bigger" match with each other. I can't believe American tax payers actually foot the bill for such buffoonery. Maybe THEY should reimburse the coffers... Jackles...

    December 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I'm changing from a democrat to an independent. Democrats are suicidal.

    December 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. hillcrester

    By playing "chicken" better in the face of GOPherism, Obama could have struck a better deal, closer to his campaign statements about what is right and fair. At least for the moment, House Dems are providing the backbone the Roundheels-in-Chief apparently lacks. And I voted for him and would/will do it again. A deal will eventually pass–perhaps the current one–but there is a chance the deficit-expanding plan could become more equitable and financially sound.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Kris

    I like it, our governmental system is working. Would you buy a car at its first offer or would you negotiate for a better deal. No offence republicans but on this one I have to say go dems.
    Democrats fighting for the people on this one, and the republicans clearly supporting the wealthy. Are things becomming a bit more transparent? Who is really for the people as a whole and who is really for just a few. It seems so far to me that the republicans stand for the wealthy few in America, Wars that kill people, Oil and fossil fuels, Drilling and destroying anything that stands in its way. Something very wrong here. The sad part is that at least 46% of the people also stand for this negative and bullying way of life. Sounds like its time for a change to me. I wish Obama could fire everyone.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. wevelostit

    What's wrong with the Dems. Compromise is how Washington works. The Dems wanted "unemployment extension" but not "tax cuts". The Reps wanted "tax cuts" but not "unemployment extension". They both GOT something and they both GAVE something – that's compromise. You NEVER get EVERYTHING you want, period.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Well, finally someone stands up to the Republcian bullies. I stand firnly behind my congressman. The Snate should do the same.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Miles j. Zaremski, Highland Park, Illinois

    Finally, some leaders with "cojones". I much prefer these type leaders, even it places us "hostages" in jeopardy for the moment, than week-kneed elected officials. who struck a deal The worst that can happen if that there is no deal before January, and the country demands that Republicans in both chambers fix the tax mess. Can you imagine the infighting that would occur, ala Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, and others in the Senate versus ("chicken crap") Boehner and his minions in the House.? In the end, we cannot afford to see $900B added to the deficit with the present deal AND that goes unpaid for; this is an incredibly stupid, stupid, piece of legislation that we all cannot afford to see enacted.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. John Ramos

    I'm confused...Obama campaigned against these tax cuts and now says it will boost jobs. Is he still a democrat? I agree with extending unemployment but by extending the bush cuts it will add to the deficit. Obama you lost absolutely any leverage and character when u watered down health care reform. I'm sorry but u have less than 2 years to save your job.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Beth

    How does giving a tax break to very wealthy people (Bush tax cuts) help the average American? I did not vote for my president to cave into the other side!

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Paul

    It was a good compomise. Obama deserves credit for trying to find a middle ground. Can't say I am sad to see this Congress go...they have acted like spoiled children who are not willing to see things from someone else's viewpoint and find a solution that all can live with.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. lauradet

    If Larry Summers says that the GOP bill is good, RUN!

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Kate

    My family falls into the "rich" category which is absurd since we live in Chicago where housing and everything else costs much more than other places. We can't move because of our jobs. Someone making our income in smalltown, USA is "rich." I've often thought taxes need more tiers. The current break of under/over 250k does NOT work. I should be taxed the same as a Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, etc? I think not! Yes – ease the taxes for families earning under 100k, have a middle bracket for families between 100 and 500, and a high bracket for over 500. Why hasn't anyone suggested this concept???

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. travis fisher

    We called on obama to change course so he tries and the democrats stop him

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. silver

    Something smells like cheese.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. joan

    I think that we were sold out totally... people voted the republicans in without really thinking it through. Once again the GOP has shown itself to be the party of the rich and the wannabe rich. More Dems should have voted in Nov... now we are paying for it.

    December 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. cingthelite

    I'm glad they told up to this big mistake. Hopefully everyone will be able to play nice a work on a deal that's good for everyone.

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Mark Michigan

    republicans would rather the entire country burn down if the billionaires don't get tax breaks!

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Living in America

    The Politicans needs to stop acting like somebody have stolen their pony and get the JOB done!!!!

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. james sandlin

    I feel Obama has given in to the republican party ,to the point that he lost controol of his own party possibly makeing him a
    president without a party.As I see it he has lost confidence with all of the public that supported him and has caused the party to loose the controol of the house, we no longer have a voice ,He failed misserably concerning the health bill he himself proposed ,The Country as a whole really wanted a plan that would have been government supported and was a universal plan no more and no less..The republicans love Him they have him in the palm of their hands. JAMES SANDLIN.

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. John Kenyon

    Obama is quite the master of the use of words. The reality is.. if the tax plan is approved, we will have the SAME amount of money as we have now.. NOT MORE. I guess is sounds good to the less intelligent people listening.

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Matthew

    I know I'll have to pay more taxes if they don't come to an agreement, but I thought that this agreement, in its current form, handed the GOP too much with little in return. My hat is off to the house members that decided that this "compromise" needed extra work to actually be a compromise. Just because the GOP won seats in the last election does not mean that the democrats should roll over and ignore those of us in America who are not center right conservatives.

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. tonyb

    stupid democrats.... yet another circular firing squad. They don't deserve to be in power- they play right into the republican's hands.

    December 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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