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. Dexter

    Wow, these democrats are surprisingly idiotic. I'm a registered democrat and see the importance of getting this bill signed even though the republicans ( American gangsters ) are holding us hostage. But to delay and knowing that they are unwilling to change course. Now were all screwed. I am officially registering as an independent.

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Suz

    From the Political Ticker: "A new poll indicates that two-thirds of Americans support the deal between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans to temporarily extend tax cuts for all Americans."

    Not really sure which constituents the House Democrats think they're representing by balking at this. I am independent but tend to vote mostly Democrat, and I am in complete agreement with the tax bill, with the caveat that a solution to paying down this nation's debt (yes, probably in the form of taxes) gets figured out within the next two years.

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Carlton

    It's amazing how, these very same democrats, who I voted in office, still can't get their ducks in line. AMAZING!!!!! We get a President that not only has resistance from those HATING *** Reflubicans, but now we have shown how DUMB we are within the party. Thank you DEMOCRAPS and REFLUBICANS for wasting the last two years of the lives of citizens. Reflubicans don't want to spent money, yet didn't have a issue 4 years ago to start this BS. Democraps wasted all they time when they had the opportunity to be the bully and get stuff moving, only to lose majority, and now they want to do the same thing when they had majority..nothing. Mr.President, I don't know if you were before your time, by a couple of generations or what but, these old fogies that have the clout wear diapers for a reason...they babies. Mr. President, you got a tough hill to climb, and if no one wants to help you...keep climbing. Reflubicans and Democraps begining to look the same to me...who benefits from that?

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Mike

    The Dems have done NOTHING all year about the tax issue. They lost in NOV and now when the Republicans put together a package they won’t vote for it because they were not included in the process. A small group of Dems wrote the Health Care bill and pushed a vote through before people were able to read it. Claimed it was soo important to pass the bill right now. Obama likes to blame past administrations for how the country is now, however would that be when Bush 2 was in office and the dems controlled congress or when Clinton was president? The country is worse than when Obama came to power. 2012 cannot get here fast enough.

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Wubeshet

    even though i support the tax cut for all, i really don't like how the republicans are dictating the terms. Democrats and Obama need to though-in up and stand for something... Its really frustrating how Obama lacks commitment to his principals. its difficult to take him on what he says because it could change at anytime based on the pressure the republicans put on him...

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Susan Rippin

    My question is "WHY?" There was no explanation of why the Democrats won't bring this proposal forward. Could you please elaborae on that, or are they taking a page out of the Republican "Just say NO" playbook?

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. jeremy

    oh noes!

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Justintime

    Good for them. Thank you Dems for standing up for something.

    December 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. TheTruth

    I hope we now see who the morons are. Its not Obama . Its House Democrats and Senate Republicans

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Rob R

    It seems that most Dems don't like the estate tax provisions. Couldn't they just agree to set them at levels previously passed by the House at $3.5 million and 45%? I mean, seriously, how many people are inheriting that much money that we should stall the whole deal for? The Republicans should agree to what the Dems want as far as the estate tax goes since they are getting all of the Bush tax cuts extended. Seems like a no-brainer to me, but then again, perhaps our elected leaders simply don't have brains.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. svscnn

    Let them all expire. We should never negotiate with hostage takers.

    I, for one, am ready to take my $1k hit.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. B

    Thanks for nothing, guys. ....

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Sonny Riechelson

    The politicians in this country are soley interested in their votes and personal gain. The American people are not of their interest. Therefore, whoever you vote for is a no win situation. May G-d help the American people.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. obama victim

    well....the democrats in the house were not happy with just destroying the they are destroying their own president.....wonder what part of losing 63 seats they do not get

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Brian

    If the GOP were serious about creating jobs, improving the economy and balancing the budget, they would let the Bush tax cuts expire and lower the payroll tax. But I don't see that deal being struck anytime soon. We know where their loyalties lie.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. mikedog1969

    I'm no fan of the republicans by any means. But the dems are wrong in not backing this deal. As a middle class person my health insurance premiums are going up by 20%. Am I going to get a 20% raise? No way. If our taxes go up on top of it we're really going to suffer. The dems will get the blame, as they always do. The republicans unfortunately played chess, while President Obama was playing checkers. There's no other choice but to vote for this tax cut. The Middle class is suffering and if we are made to suffer more there will be blood.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Reality Check

    Quite an about face. Obama: Years telling us that extending the Bush cuts would be bad for the economy. Now: Its a good thing that will help create jobs. Republicans: Extending unemployment will blow out the deficit. Now. A-OK just don't increase taxes on those earning $1,000,000+. Just when I thought I could not get any more sickened.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. T Charles

    I'm happy to see Congress drawing a line in the sand and taking a firm position against this flawed bill. How can Obama and Republicans support a bill that adds $1 trillion to the debt, mostly by cuts to taxes on the rich. This is not what the country needs. Go, Congress!!!

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. ConsiderThis

    Democrats should stop trying to "win the battle" and focus on "winning the war" that is certain to take place in 2012. It's laughable that people chose to criticize President Obama when he has accomplished more in 2 years than any other president in modern times accomplished during their full term(s). And he has done this under the most negative, disrespectful, openly hostile, hateful, slimey, gutter, pervert political environment in the history of our country. For this man to ascend to the presidency as he did, through smarts, vision, self-control and common decency, is a feat unsurpassed by anyone in the history of the world. And to watch people who haven't accomplished a 10th of what President Obama has accomplished for the American people, criticize his every move, as if they are smarter, more visionary– why don't they run for President next cycle since they think that they know so much! Cowards sit on the sideline and criticize. Leaders are out front taking the heat and plowing forward with the big picture (vision) in mind. I, for one, don't my taxes to increase in 2011, and if the wealthy get the same benefit, so be it. No, it's not fair, but what is in America?

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. gary

    Forget the damm democrats voting against this!!! Who cares about the Estate tax. Every American benefits from this and Democrats also want to stop unemployment benefits going out to American who need it. I am a Democrat and I even believe this is a good deal. Please Senate Democrats wake up and stop hurting the people who you claim to care about and vote for this tax deal.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Mark

    All that time with the super majority and the only thing they have done is cause a 26% raise in insurance rates for me, which forces me to go to a lessor plan and pay more out of pocket for. I hate idealists. All they do is think, argue, and cost me my hard earned wages. No second term. Use your heads next time people. Had we voted Perot, this country would be making money, our jobs would still be here, and America would be strong. But no, instead we got Clinton, and due to his blundering, we got Bush. Now, thanks to all of your hate, we got Obama, and the most incompetent admin of the last three presidency's.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Claude Robotham

    Pres. Obama got back more than he gave up. The tax breaks for high income people are temporary, not permanent as the GOP had demanded. Obama obtained the payroll tax relief, which many economists have defined as a "back door" stimulus. The Republicans had resisted any overt stimulus, but the Administration found a way. And, of course, the long term unemployed are getting an extension of help, while the GOP would have put them out on the street.

    The liberal caucus is saying, "I'd rather die fighting with my principles intact." Whom would that have helped? That's the mindset that kept the Democrats out of power throughout the 1980s. Obama did a courageous thing, risking the ire of his own party (which he got in abundance) to do what's best for the country longer term. To the liberal caucus, I say this: Forget this stuff about noble martyrdom. Take what you can get today, and live to fight another day.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. alienmom

    raise the amount from $250K to $500K or 1 million.That will satisfy the math challenged Dems..The all or nothing was an invite to failure.Perhaps planned it that way ,,hmmmm

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Tracy

    So, Democrats are holding the unemployed hostage because of their believe we all owe more in taxes and can keep less of our income so Congress can keep overspending and wasting money? Not suprised.

    December 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Eric

    Let all the tax breaks lapse and pay off them stupid deficit before they Chinese own our country and take it from us.

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