From the in-box: this just in from Democracy for America:
Our pressure on Congress to reject the President’s tax cut deal with the Republicans is working. From CNN only hours ago:
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.
Following the non-binding vote of the Democratic Caucus, Reuters newswire just reported this breaking news:
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not bring President Barack Obama’s current proposed tax plan up for a vote in her chamber, an aide said on Thursday.
The aide said Pelosi would require changes be made to the measure that most of her fellow House Democrats formally opposed by approving a resolution of opposition to it. The aide said: “She (Pelosi) will honor the resolution.”
It has never been more important for us to quickly back up Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus than it is right now. Please sign our “Thank You and Stand Strong” statement and let them know you have their back.
This one’s definitely developing…
Here’s the write-up from Reuters. A clip:
In a raucous, closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill, Democrats chanted “Just say no!” as they agreed to block Obama’s plan to extend low tax rates for nearly all Americans, according to lawmakers in the room.
Several at the party meeting said they were angered by the White House’s “take it or leave it” attitude about the deal, which includes tax breaks for the wealthy.
Obama’s plan would keep lower rates in place for another two years, reduce the estate tax, and extend tax breaks and other benefits aimed at lower-income Americans.
Democrats have opposed extending the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of American households, arguing that the lost revenue can be put to better use at a time when unemployment is close to 10 percent.
There was still strong support in Congress for the broader deal and time for lawmakers to negotiate a compromise in the coming days. Tax bills will rise in January by an average of $3,000 per household of Congress does not act.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was to unveil tax-cut legislation later in the day, with a vote possible on Saturday.
The administration is confident that the “major components” of the deal will survive the congressional maneuvering, White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said. …
The irony is that throughout the first two years of his presidency, Congress — especially the House — has been complaining that the president is too “hands off” when it comes to legislation and won’t tell them what he wants. He was criticized for turning the writing of the stimulus bill over to Nancy Pelosi and the healthcare bill over to the Senate. Now that the president is doing what they’ve been asking him to do: spelling out specifically what he wants done — Congress (the House in particular) is upset that they’re being told what to do. Politics.
The likelihood still is that the package passes, perhaps with the House forcing some modifications (upping the estate tax would be a good fix…) Meanwhile, the suddenly feisty Democrats run the risk of running out the clock, and then the question is, who gets blamed when everybody’s taxes rise January 1st? Tick-tock…