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. Bill in Florida

    I'd just like to say that I am a Democrat now, but if this keeps up, I won't be for much longer. I won't be a Republican either. I want a party that uses common sense to work for the benefit of the American people. If we have to compromise with the Republicans for two years, so be it. If taking a stand causes us to lose the greater good for everyone, the principle behind it is of no value. This is what the Republicans have done for two years. Now I see my party doing it and I am not happy. Work with the President you helped to elect. He is not bad for you. He is a brilliant man that offers a way out of this quagmire.

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Gale

    Wow! You Democrats don't even support your own President! What a complete disaster this administration turned out to be. When you take money from people who will work and give it to those that won't work, sooner or later something or somebody is going to revolt. It is too bad, the President sees this, but not the stupid socialist democrats.

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. gracster

    The critical question is, given that the Bush tax cuts have not been instrumental in boosting economic growth over the last 5 years at least, why would maintaining them for the wealthy result in economic growth in the coming years and how would this create millions of jobs? Given the middle class a break and tax the fat cats–the only people that will feel the pinch are the people who can deal with the pinch–or are we not all in this together?

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Umbra

    Bye bye Obama... Was a nice 1 term...

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Debbie

    From the insulted liberal base, yay! I'm supporting Democrats who fight for us next election not the president.

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Motsy

    Queen Nancy Pelosi and her henchmen... the American people know where this revolt is coming from.... it must be hard for her to give up the power...

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. BlueFly

    I gather the demos didn't get the message in November.....

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. chatmandu002

    So the lame ducks want another recession. They are so afraid that some rich people might get to keep more of their own money. The democrat's believe it's the government's money not yours. The democrats believe more in communism than capitalism. Taking from those with the ability to pay and giving to those with perceived needs.

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

    Yes, this bill has the POTENTIAL to create jobs, but it's the same policy which has been in place for 10 years. Doesn't the President and the Republicans get the message THIS IS A FAILED POLICY. Nobody wants a tax hike but didn't the Rs, in the last presidential election, run under the banner of Country First? What has changed? Now it's Tax cuts first and Country second. The President better ask Santa Claus for a backbone. The American people are ready, willing and able to take on this fight with the ultra-rich.

    December 9, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. d-dub

    I hope this bill fails stick to your guns house democrats

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

    Now who's the "Party of NO"! Way to go Dems!

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Eric

    Well, here we go with "My way or nothing at all.". As employment benefits run out for unemployed Americans the members of both parties will pay for their inability to compromise. If you have not figured it out yet, they are 311,000,000 Americans in the USA and you can't please everyone. Their decision to not compromise for the sake of America is crazy. Neither party has absolute control over the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government. This simply means you can't dictate your political views and you have to do what the framers of the constitution intended. COMPROMISE. Our government is full of a bunch of spoiled brats that throw temper tantrums when they don't get everything they want. GROW UP and work together for a change.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. RuFkngKdngMe

    At least some on the left have some stones in their sacks and some sense in their heads. This deal was insane. It was no deal at all, it was a right wing steal.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Lindsay

    Un-freakin real! Dems in Congrenss, you better listen up: We have less than 3 weeks before ALL Americans see the biggest tax increase in 50 years, and all of this will be on your watch. No one is getting a damn tax cut here, we are just talking about leaving the current rates, for ALL Americans, exaclty where they are, and have been for the last 7 years.

    You can kiss your reelection campaigns goodbye in 2 years if you don't put foward what the President worked out with top Sentate and House leaders earlier this week. I'm extremely conservative, and I don't like parts of the plan that was agreed on, but you will kill this economy if you increase taxes on anyone, especially the brackets where the businesses are.

    I swear, I really think our country is in big trouble...

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Manchurian Candidate

    Its only fair to say the Republicans have implanted a chip in the brain of our elected leader President. Now they have full control of the Administrative Branch. The President will surprise everyone with a serenade over the replaciement of Pelozi and the incoming Boner.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. jayh

    Good for them.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Darren

    Democrats don't have a clue!!!

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Adam Wilder

    Finally, some common sense! Screw the millionaire GOP'ers!

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Pointe

    Is it possible to sue Congress for negligence?

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Honestly Speaking

    Good for you democrats!!! Finally do something right!

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Drew Williams

    Thank God there are some Democrats with a spine who refuse to negotiate with craven hostage takers. Obama's obsession with being the cool, detached adult in the room keeps rewarding the GOP for bad behavior. Well, dammmitt, he is still the President and he'd better start negotiating like one, or further erode his credibility as a leader willing to take stands.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. James

    Typical Democrats, that don't get their way so they throw temper tantrums and refuse to see that the majority of the American public wants this. Keep living in your narrow minded fantasyland.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. kevin

    Republicans will stop any reasonable package. They are fine with the unemployed going hungry. Truly evil people (who claim to be christian)

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. bird

    Hmmmm, so Democrats are now admitting, they do not care about the "middle class"? My, my, what an interesting turn of events.

    December 9, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Candy Willis

    Are you serious? This is our lives, not some kind of political game. Why do I even bother to vote, I use to be the biggest advocate that if you didn't vote you have no right to complain. I vote, I see no one helping anyone but themselves. Is this really what our forefathers had in mind. I think the politicians, with their fat paychecks, should be ashamed. I have already lost my home to all this crap, to you all want blood too??

    December 9, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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