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. Russell Harris

    I love it. Give the american public a reason to vote out the rest of the Kenysian democrats. They just don't get it. Let them continue to act as if the money americans keep belongs to the government.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Jose A Guerrero

    I'm Democrat, I think that our congressman , should stop the political fight , and focus on what is important , to lift our country from the hole that is right now, please vote for the bill the way it is.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Independent AntiGovTexan

    More partisan bickering that is damaging our economy and jobs. Congress is causing more damage to America than any terrorist ever could. I am ashamed of all of them and will be voting against every seated incumbent in the next election. Ashamed to be an American with elected representatives like these squabbling five-year-olds.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. tontosh

    To all the Democrats, JUST SAY NO. Don't you guys have any fight in you? You must enjoy bending over a lot.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Mac

    They didn't want to fight before the election and now they want to fight when time is running out.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. RkD

    Any *new* tax cuts without matching spending cuts are pointless and will end up damaging the economy. Extending the bush tax cuts without matching spending cuts is equally horrible. Can't raise them, can't lower them. The only thing you can do is keep them, but cut spending. How come no one is smart enough to figure that out?

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Mavent

    The bill wasn't "a compromise". A compromise is when you meet in the middle on something. Obama just caved completely, and gave Republicans everything they wanted.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Darkpanda

    Good job, Dems. Ya'll just made yourselves look like the idiot Republicans. Way to go to stoop down to their level at a time like this. lol

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. john, PA

    The voters in American sent a mandate and they never learn, we will vote out the rest of these useless Democrats and Obama in 2012.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Philly Guy

    Well, I hope that the dems know what they're doing. I certainly don't want to top 1 trillion+ dollars in debt on the US Treasury for $700 billion going to rich people that don't need ANY help! But, the repubs have made it absolutely clear that they refuse to extend unemployment benefits for many americans that need it, and are not rich. So what happens if nothing happens? You've won on principal, yet lost on practicality while millions of families suffer? The rich people certainly won't suffer if middle class america doesn't get unemployment extensions.

    I mean, it's a tough pill to swallow, but having millions of families go homeless is certainly not going to help stimulate the economy in any way either.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Bob Yankee

    What do these Democrats have against letting people keep more of their money and extending help to the unemployed.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Bob the Observer

    If there was ever a bigger reason to change the 18th century calendar that allows for a lame duck congress, I don't know what it is. I had the same feeling back in 2006 when bitter Republicans tried to "get even" with their last session before they had to go home and get real jobs.

    This time the shoe is on the other foot. These people have lost! Why are they allowed to even have a vote? They should be home, getting ready for Christmas.

    The next session of congress after the November elections should include those who were elected in November, no matter whether they were Democrats or Republicans.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Glisson

    The houses decision not to extend the tax bill in it's present form shows how out of touch they really are and that they really do not live in the everyday reality each American does. I think the only way you could wake up a politician at this point is to provide them with the same practice of an everyday business owner. If the company does not make money you don't get paid, you have to get the same insurance we do and you have no expense account. By the way we're restructuring and all of you have to take a paycut of 38% of your current salary for the next 10 years.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Kurtis

    Here we go again. Has anyone began to wonder if the politicians in this country are more of a threat to the US then Osama Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda?

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. ladont

    Brilliant! Then the income taxes of all Americans get increased and all those whose uneployment was to run out will not see another check. Morons, you lose power in January when the Republicans will cut taxes retroactive to 12/31 and ignore the unemployment situation.

    December 9, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Laura, Boston

    The President warned "his" own party that not passing this bill would cause loss of more jobs so what did they do, they failed to heed the warning and didn't pass the bill.

    That is it, I am officially no longer a democrat. Independant is what I will become and that way I can think for myself and pick whomever is right for the job.

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Tex

    Good for them! Prior to these Bush tax cuts, the US was in a surplus and economy strong (thanks to Clinton). Bush made the argument that the tax cut would increase jobs. There was a 0% increase do to those tax cut (that's fact not fiction). I might have been behind it if the wealthy business owners were not allowed to outsource jobs overseas. I am disappointed in Obama.

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. The Mud Shark from Oregon


    At last, our representatives show some spine. I was beginning to wonder if there was anyone awake in the democratic caucus.


    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Jinney

    Absolutely first I thought Obama was being toooo nice. I thought he should take a stand for the other 98%, but I agree it can not be at the expense of my fellow americans who are out of work and depend heavily on the unemployment chk. This is really sad, if someone can explain to me why my/your neighbors, brothers, sisters, others would be considered expendable I'd really like to read from you.

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Sean

    Can nothing get done in Washington? First, the Dems want to compromise and the Repubs say no way. Now, the positions are reversed. There's standing up for your principles, and then there is being obstinate to spite your opponent. The latter is going to hurt America. Thanks, jackwagons, for making my life harder.

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Concerned

    Tax hikes brought to you by the Dems

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. timmy

    Who's the party of NO?

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Niles Pritchard

    If the beating the democrats took in November wasn't proof enough that they are totally out of touch with reality, I invite ANY AND ALL member of congress to come to my home for an education on what their stupidity and ignorance is doing to MY wallet. We fought a war over taxation WITHOUT representation, perhaps members of congress would like it if we fought them on the issue of taxation BEFORE representation.

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. LiberalNN

    The Democrats are totally falling apart. Who's the party of "no" now, eh?

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. matt

    It is about time the Democratic Congress did something sensible. Sheesh...

    December 9, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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