Democrats Rushing To Save Tax Cut Extension Deal In House
After sailing smoothly through the Senate the bill to extend the Bush tax cuts seems to be in serious danger in the House:
Democratic leaders are scrambling to save President Obama’s tax proposal after a liberal insurrection forced House leaders to postpone a planned vote on the measure Thursday.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hastily called a meeting of the Democratic caucus for Thursday afternoon to try to forge a consensus that would allow the bill to move forward late Thursday night or early Friday. Democratic leaders scrapped a procedural vote earlier in the afternoon after they realized it was likely to fail.
Liberal lawmakers who are opposed to the compromise Obama reached with Republicans objected to the procedure the House Rules Committee approved Wednesday, saying it did not give them a clean opportunity to vote against the legislation.
That procedure would have allowed a vote only on a lone amendment to the estate-tax provision of the bill. If that measure passed, the entire tax bill would return to the Senate, meaning lawmakers would have, in effect, approved the underlying measure with the single change raising the estate tax to a level preferred by Democrats. If the estate-tax amendment failed — which was expected — then the House would have voted on the underlying Senate bill.
“We are looking for a broader alternative than just a vote on the estate tax,” a leading critic of the overall proposal, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), said as he walked off the House floor.
Of course, the Senate GOP has said that they will not accept any changes to the bill that was voted on in the Senate so that could mean that the entire deal will collapse.