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. Joey

    Good. They need to make a real deal and get things done. I'm glad they have some spine.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. b

    Fools. This IS a compromise. The Dems get the Jobless Benifits extension they want, Rep get the taxes breaks they want. Perfect legislation. What a bunch of arrogant fools. And the Dems say all Rep want to do is play partisan politics. Kettle and the pot people.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. Bentley

    Amen! Selling out is not a compromise. This deal about rich people getting to keep otherwise taxed money will create jobs is a farce.

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. SGTJ

    way to go Democrats! Finally showing a's a little late but a welcome gesture non the less

    December 9, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. IceT

    The Dems are just doing what they consider to be best for their re-election chances.

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

    Awesome .... the DEMS embarass themselves by not listening to the centrist movement in America.

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. ladd lindholm

    the begging of the end........nothing is going to happen untill little 2012 election results, and even then stalemate....what a mess we have gotten into Olie.....damn I wish Bush was back with all his wisdom and absense of sense and oversight.

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Wendy Jones

    President Obama should be proud of himself for compromising in order to extend tax cuts for non-wealth Americans. Many other politicians, on the other hand, seem to be letting their egos represent us–focusing on winning rather than keeping a broader perspective.

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Charlie

    This could get interesting

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Name Domingaux

    The Dems will end up getting nothing. Just shows many of them are more concerned with image and a stance than doing something for struggling American people right now. And the American people will remember that moment.For a family whose struggling to keep their lights on, they are not looking at weeks or months, they think in hours and days.

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. CoastCodger

    Let it go. A new house will take office next month, and they can pass it.

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. clarinet

    Obama's arrangement with GOP simply translates to spend more, borrow more. Washington is unchanged.

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. New Yorker

    The Democratic Party wants things their way or no way. That's why they lost so badly in November. We are unhappy with the Democratic rule of this country. Republicans voted no on bills that didn't incorporate any of their ideas, and Democrats vote no if a bill doesn't include ALL of their ideas. THIS BILL IS A COMPROMISE!!! WHAT'S THE PROBLEM DEMS?!?!?!

    December 9, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Risa`

    Does this mean there will not ba any unemployment extesnions or is that diiferent?

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. D. Gordon

    And the Democrats still don't understand why they got beat over the head on November 2nd. That's what happens when the likes of Nancy Palosi and Harry Reed are allowed to trash our country because of their Socialist views.

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. AndyF

    The issue of tax extension for anyone should not even be on the table. The 2nd Bush tax cut was made during what has turned out to be the longest and costliest war in our history. You don't give tax cuts during war, Fighting War 101. It failed to prepare our troops adequately, as exemplified in how military families had fund raisers to send their loved ones basic body and vehicle armor. The Pentagon later admitted was an oversight to not have had those items out in the field BEFORE hostilities arupted, but it came down to this theory Bush had we could run a cheap war, which would allow for the idiotic notion we could give tax cuts during said cheap war. Ludicrous, really bad for America and as we found out its troops and the overall war effort. Dems are missing a big issue that would silence the tax cut extension advocates; the tax cuts are blood money and represent our unwillingness to actually support what we said we supported overwhelmingly when the war began.

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. damian

    prepare for your taxes to go up come 1/1.
    You can clearly lay the blame at Obama and the democrats front step

    It's amazing how small Obama has become in the last year. Carville was right what he said about Obama not having a pair

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Pat

    It's Bush's fault!

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Sagebrush Shorty

    I guess I was wrong, the Democratic house does have some backbone.

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Rainbird

    No tax breaks for the rich!

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Carlos Monday

    This just goes to show that the current president has lost the confidence of his own party. Democrats defied the president, and further weakened their party. I was for the tax bill and I believe any sensible person could. When a minority party regains seats, there opinion by default becomes more valid as they have more power. This is a sad day in America. I hope the Democrats have enjoyed their term, as the GOP will for sure be in the white house next time around, with a GOP congress. I just hope the GOP provides a solid candidate that can get our country back on track, as Bush was a waste and hurt us dearly, as Obama is doing now.

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. CTinDC

    What is the alternative they have .. and why aren't they going after the republicans.

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Z

    2 year extension OK. Permanent, no way. Including the wealthy, why?

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Namegrego1

    Good for the dems to stop the president. He had strength and gave it away. Shame on him and the republicans who only think of the rich and not the millions who lost their unemployment.

    December 9, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Tim Randolph

    So I happen to be one of the blood letters from the last election. I voted Republican on every ticket in my state though I had voted and even donated to the Obama campaign during the last election. With five children in my household, I can tell you that the idea of my taxes going up now is unpleasant. For those who want to point out first, Hey..five kids, I was a foster parent that adopted my three eldest before being blessed with two of my own. The electorate is angry Democrats, you screw this up, and you'll find out just how mad "we the people" are!

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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