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. blake

    Robin Hood strikes again. Sadly in this case Robin Hood works for Uncle Sam and gives primarily to those who refuse to work and believe they are entitled. Not those actively seeking work or seeking to make lifestyle changes that will enable them to escape generational cycles of poverty.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. svscnn

    Wow again! Second time in as many weeks that the House Dems have surprised me with an increasingly solid backbone.

    And good thing too, because President Obama's has all but turned to jelly just as quickly.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. AZLib

    Borrow money from china. Middleclass will take their $1,000.00 to walmart and then it's done. rich will invest in Wall Street which in turn will force more companies to outsource jobs to China. Only winner here is China. Mr. President.. we need to invest in the middle class... we need to look serious at trade pacts that do not work for the average American. Personally I would rather pay $199 for a DVD player then $39 if that means Americans go back to work. Our trade should be to our better not to our worse I DO NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT WALL STREET SAYS. Mr. President 100,000 americans and more died to fight communism. Lets not give the Red Chinese Communists our jobs, debt and loyality. Cut spending with a war we cannot win, handout to other countries we cannot afford and military programs that do not work. No more maned space flights etc. Cut the spending and cut trade deals that do not better the american middle class. Giving expensive tax breaks to the wealthy will do nothing. In fact force them to fully pay for SSN get rid of the SSN cap at $106K. Charge them 80% tax on all stock options when a company outsources and we will see jobs here Mr. President. Our people want real jobs, not jobs at WalMart and McDonalds. Thank goodness our dems in congress get it and have a pair.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Mark

    Looks like we need another election..the Democrats still haven't learned not to defy the will of the American People. What a pity!!!

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. DD

    Here we go again.... The Democrats & Republicans playing school yard games with our lives.... (If I can't get what I want then I will cut off my nose and not give an inch) I say just fire them all and start over...

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. paul

    The Republicans hold major responsibility for this bill. They are willing to hold up a tax cut for 98% of the public just so millionaires and billionaires can get a cut as well. In addition the cut for the rich would add billions to the national debt Their true position of catering to the rich and to hell with the middle class is coming to fruition. Maybe now people will see their party for what they really stand for. They have consistantly voted against helping the unemployed, voted against the 250 to help seniors, voted against making the world safer via the smart treaty, and voted against equally of those in the service by voting against DADT. Shameless.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Christine

    Bunch of freaking babies in Washington, try all need to grow up.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. DS

    Once again we have two parties at odds with one another jockeying for power. And once again the American middle class are the ones paying the price. Will is BS on the Hill ever end. I'm so tired of do nothing government. Our congress is no longer working for us and it really really sucks. REAL every day people are hurting don't they see that?

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Just a dude

    Mr. President. I think you are doing a great job with what you have to work with. But, on this point I believe we need to take a stand. If you give in to blackmailers, they will only demand more.

    If you make over $250K per year you can tighten your belt a bit. The wealthy got over 100% of the economic growth that followed the Bush tax cut. Working people actually lost money. Taxes fell, but so did pay. Profits jumped.

    To be bipartisan and work with the other side, raise the line from $250K to $300K. Allow some exemptions for small businesses when they create new jobs. But, "pass what we say the way we say it or we will filibuster everything" is blackmail.

    I make less than $250K per year. I am struggling to pay bills. But, if the country needs it, I will make it with higher taxes for a while until the bullies back down. My taxes should be going to reduce our debt, fix our roads, fund our schools and support our troops, not to give the wealthiest 5% of Americans more money.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. brett

    I am a pure dem liberal..but if the dems dont vote for this package and my taxes go up in January its a witch hunt on think they've lost seats in this election ...well just wait and see what happens if they deney unemployment benefits and let taxes raise..bye bye.

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Steve

    I can't believe these words are coming out of Obama's mouth. Did his whole political and economic beliefs change since the election?

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Nameilikturtles

    Odumbo is a fool lower taxes across the board the more cash we have to more well spend the sooner we spend sooner jobs will be created

    December 9, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Troy

    I am really getting tired of the politicians acting like children when they don't get their way. I am a Democrat but I also know that this bill was a necessity for the people. Everyone knew that the only way that the unemployment bill would be passed was to compromise and let the tax breaks for everyone stay. But now the Democrats are whining cause they didn't get it all their way, well if they continue to do what they are doing at the cost of harming all those families that are without any unemployment to pay bills or even have a simple christmas for their children when it comes time for elections in 2012 I for the first time will not be voting Democrat. So get off your high horses and do what is right for the people that put you there or you will see and end to your job as well.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Ron

    So whom is blocking extended benefits for jobless Americans now? Who is blocking tax stability for middle-class Americans now? It's the Democrats ... many of whom were "fired" in the last election. Petulance at its extreme.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Patrick

    I can't keep up. Now the Dems are the parry of "no"?

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Mark:)

    Put on the boxing gloves, round #1.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Tony

    This is SILLY! I betcha, they drag this out until 31 Dec and then pass it and then call Obama the HERO....! LOL

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Jon

    Oh for the love of mike....

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Gaboy02

    Good luck to all of you that were just barely getting by. Now you have the Dems to thank for higher taxes, no umemployment benefits and no payroll tax cut. So much for making anymore money so that we can spur the economy.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. B-KC

    Way to go Dems! Let the tax cuts expire becuase there will be no spending cuts to pay for this crap!

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Hank

    Tey had (Dems.) 24 months to pass what ever they wanted and now they complain. I am now a former Democrat. I will do everything in my power to see that no Democrat is ever voted into an office higher than dog catcher. I am not rich and this will hurt me. The 2% payrole cut ment an extra $20 a weak I could realy use. I hope every Democrat that has apossed this deal will suffer as much as my family will because of there incompetant arogance.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. BUBBA87PUG

    Democrats, Republicans? Doesn't seem to make much of a difference, no one in D.C. seems to give a damn about the average person WHO PUT THEM THERE. Should isolate both house in rooms and not provide them food, water or toilets until they hammer out a mutually acceptable deal. Let them deal with thier own "crap" for a change.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Bruce

    Pretty sad when your own party won't back you up. One and done in '12, no doubt about it, along with a lot of DemocRATS. I'll love to see how the liberals on here try to spin this one. There was a compromise and your party failed to support it. Yeah way to go. I'd love to be in your house when you do your taxes and see how much extra you'll have to pay. LOL

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Mitchell

    Well done, at least someone has stood up to the GOP.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. BestProfitBusiness = WAR

    VICTORY!!! Next time LD, don't negotiate without Democrates because you lost touch about what really is important!

    PS: LD is Obama's new nick-name. It stands for Let Down!

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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