Michelle Bachmann: House GOP Could Torpedo Tax Deal
Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmmann is saying that Republicans in the House could end up rejecting a tax cut extension deal if it includes extension of unemployment benefits:
A House Tea Party leader said Monday that GOP lawmakers might vote down an extension of tax cuts if it’s tied to an extension in unemployment benefits as well.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus, said Republicans could balk at voting to extend all the tax cuts for two years if it’s tied to a long extensions of the jobless benefits.
“That’s why I don’t know that Republicans would necessarily go along with that vote. That would be a very hard vote to take,” Bachmann said on conservative talker Sean Hannity’s radio show on Monday.
“I think we’re back in a conundrum. I think the compromise would be extending the rates for two years and not permanently, but not tying it to massive spending,” she said. “We cannot add on something like a year of unemployment benefits.”
The Tea Party leader’s words also set up the prospect of a showdown with Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers that Republican leaders have sought to avoid. If lawmakers in Bachmann’s caucus were to vote down an extension of all the tax cuts because the unemployment benefits are attached, it could seem as though the GOP is divided on tax cuts, especially as the party is on the verge of a relative victory in the tax debate.
This could be a situation not at all dissimilar to the September 2008 vote over TARP, when the House GOP initially rejected the leadership entreaties to support what Minority Leader John Boehner had reportedly called behind closed a “crap sandwich,” which resulted in the bill being defeated on it’s first trip through the House of Representatives. It also could make a deal even more difficult when combined with the threat of a rebellion from progressive Democrats.