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. Dave

    Tail = Economy / DOG = Government

    Republicans = Tail wags the dog
    Democrats = Dog wags the Tail

    When too many people speculate on the market it there will be no stability. The government is the safety net, without it our world would crumble like it attempted to do so in 2008-09. Did everyone forget why we voted the Democrats in, in the first place? If we bankrupt the government to stimulate the economy and the economy fails, the country in fact will fail.

    The democrats first proposal WAS a compromise. I say let them expire so the government, WHO WE ALL RELY ON, get it's feet back on the ground.

    December 9, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. DL

    I guess we know who is in charge of the country now. It isn't Obama ... it is Pelosi and the Republicans lol.
    Oh & 1st!

    December 9, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Larry

    Excellent work everybody! Don't bother helping anyone!

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. joe

    Thank you republicans and democrats for being so stubborn. I am poor. I don't pay taxes no matter the outcome. But if the rich and middle class pay more taxes, I'm assured of continuing to get my welfare and food stamps every month while kicking back on the big island of hawaii in paradise while the middle class and rich foot the bill. Again, keep up the good work of doing nothing...thats what I do 🙂

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Leave it to Pelosi to screw amerika again. Until the dems dump this loud mouthed broad, the dems and the country will never succeed. Taxes should be fair for all – but to be honest, being unemployed for a year or more is the fault of the unemployed to stuck up to take the jobs available. How come the mexicans still sneak over the border daily and can find a job in a few days? Interesting huh? Sounds like we just have lazy unemployed riding the gravy train. No more benefits! Get off the couch and work!

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Sametestsameresults

    This is exactly what the Dem caucus should do. Republicans presenting everything as do it our way or we won't support it and holding extending jobs and START Treaty hostage so they can give the rich billions of dollars in charity for the rich. Let it expire it will hurt the country but the Dems have a back bone and the Republithugs better get used to dealing with a stronger Dem Caucus. The Blue dogs who supported the Republicans were almost all voted out last election why should the dems listen to them.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Alatinrose

    Has anyone ever heard of compromise for the greater good?! This party separation is really starting to get me frustrated...nothing is going to get done if people are more loyal to a political party than our national well-being.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Ed

    Are you kidding me? Who's hold who hostage at this point?

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Gary

    When will republicans and Obama learn that tax cuts for the rich do nothing to stimulate the economy. They only make the rich richer.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Fred

    what this also shows: obama has NO juice left. zero. zip. nada. he is indeed a non-factor. from now til his end. no capital at all. with 4-5 dem senators (or more, manchin, tesor, liber, etc) basically voting with the Rs in 11-12, the Ds have titular control of senate but mcconnel has effeftive control. and with both houses of congress run by Rs and the house waging that dog, BHO will be veto'er in chief. until the rising tide of the "people" forces him to act. he's the hostage now. and the american people are free. and he better get used to folding up that veto pen. and folding his hand. if he wants any chance at all of term 2. but thats only going to be a vision in his narcissistic noggin pretty soon.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Annexian

    It's like Kieth Oberman pointed out;
    -said in my own words.

    Obama should have just let the bill die. The Republicans don't want to (directly) be blamed for cutting unemployment insurance so they could be bullied into a non-pandering bill. Then, when they get in next year while he doesn't have the power to force anything through thanks to his pathetic appeasement, he DOES have the power to VETO everything unless it's what he wants. They don't have enough control to overcome a veto. Eventually enough "Critical Spending" will pile up and they'll have the choice of either giving some progressive stuff through or throwing the country in a real loop that'll hurt everyone including the elites who buy them.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. BXRWXR

    And who said that politics was the art of compromise...

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. carlos

    . This is why as a republican and an immigrant from a socialist country I emailed my representatives and asked them not to work with the democrats in the lame duck. The "all we want to do is compromise, work together, hold hands and work for the middle class" is a populous speech that I use to here everyday. I was very discouraged with my party in the 2000's but hopefully we primaried enough of these big spenders to cause a change. Blue collar democrats and conservative republicans are not the problem in washington. The poverty pimps and big spenders are.
    My opinion, in a perfect world, I would end the tax cut for every earner over 1 million and put a cap on unemployment benefits at 2 1/2 years.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Ronnie Raygun

    It is awsome to watch these Democrats self-destruct.
    Obama has zero mojo, now. his own party just mad a complete imbecile o0ut of him and eliminated any political capital he had left. He can forget re-election.

    December 9, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Smackdown

    So a bipartisan compromise was obtained and now the Dems in power reject it. No wonder America rejected them this last election.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Aaron

    I cannot believe these people. The middle class is hurting and needs this tax cut. If we're getting one then the rich deserve one too. Quit kicking things around like this is some kind of sporting event. Pass the legislation, extend the tax cuts, and start working on cutting the ridiculous amount of government spending. Social security needs to go (since my generation is paying heavily into it and won't see one thin dime) and defense spending needs to be seriously reviewed and "trimmed" to put it mildly.

    Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for the mess our government is in. I wish the last elections had truly cleaned house and voted a slew of "no-partiers" into office. Here in Florida, the Democrats are pandering and the Republicans are crooks. All these idiots care about is how their party looks on the score card. Nobody has the interests of the citizens of the United States at heart.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Robert

    Nice. The Dems in the House have been the only liberal group to stick to their convictions since Obama was elected. Obama is wimpy and gives up concessions to the GOP before even sitting at the table with them. The Senate is a mess and barely functions anymore because of the fillibuster rules in place. The House passed over 150 bills that died because the Senate is useless. We need more people who are willing to stand up for what they believe is right in office. You always see the GOP walking in almost perfect lock step. The Dems have to either get the fillibuster rules changed or learn to be tough like the GOP or they might as well give up on anything they may ever want to accomplish for the US.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Ali Baseri

    This is outstanding news. In a deficit such as this giving tax breaks to millionairs and billionairs was outrageous.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Stryker

    Congratulations to the Democratic caucus for having the only good judegment in Washington. Now it's up to Nancy Pelosi, who should follow the recommendation of the Democratic caucus. There may actually be some hope left for the Demcratic party.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. John

    No way No how should the people that caused this recession get rewarded with a tax break. Ponzi schemers, frauduent loan underwritters and wall street needs a break. Get real republicans. Get your priorities straight. So called deficit hawk may be able to doop tea trailer republicans, but not me.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. K3Citizen

    Wow!! Talk about a parting blow! Congratulations to the house for standing up to the rich. The GOP makes threats just like the rest of the terrorists who hate America, so it's high time we stop caving into their demands. Remember folks, the GOP got us in the mess that we are in. Guys like Lebron James and Tiger Woods will still survive with an increase. 2% of Americans should have higher taxes. If those 2% managed their businesses the way they should have, we wouldn't have lost so many jobs. It's high time they pay their fair share.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Mags Davies

    Again looks like the Dems refuse to hear what the voters say...66% are in favor of this deal. They are acting like sore losers.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Sean

    Three cheers for the House Dems! That will show Obama, try and throw his base under the bus. I don't think so.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. JustMe

    The Dems are really being a bunch of ignorant horses backsides! What part of "the deal will unravel if anything is changed do they not understand"? And do they really think they have the power to do that? The deal expires in just a few weeks and they're leaving to go on recess before then and when Congress reconvenes they will have lost a good number of Senate Seats as well as complete control of the House. They are really pissing me off.

    December 9, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Right Leaning Independent

    I hope Repubs go back to the negotiating table and require 4 years before the tax cuts expire on those making over 250k and reduce the death tax rate to 10% after the first 10 million!! Would serve these Liberal Dems right... Play hard ball Repubs!! Make them pay more for blocking this deal... Make them cry more than they have been!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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