Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The House of Representatives has passed the Obama Middle Class Tax Relief Act by a vote of 234 to 188. Only 3 Republicans voted for America's middle class. House Dems Pass Only Middle Class Tax Cut Bill. 20 Democrats, I suspect conservadem Blue Dog Democrats who lost their seats in November (hint: this is why) voted "nay." I will update when Thomas posts the roll call vote.
The Obama Middle Class Tax Relief Act makes permanent the current tax rates for individuals with taxable income up to $200,000 and couples filing jointly with taxable income up to $250,000, and makes small business tax credits permanent. The Bush tax cuts for higher income levels will sunset automatically on January 1 by design and revert to Clinton era tax rates on higher incomes (approximately 3 percent more). The House bill now goes to the Senate. Thank you Nancy Pelosi.
But I find this most distressing. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs issued this statement after the vote:
"The President continues to believe that extending middle class tax cuts is the most important thing we can do for our economy right now and he applauds the House for passing a permanent extension. But, because Republicans have made it clear that they won't pass a middle class extension without also extending tax cuts for the wealthy, the President has asked Director Lew and Secretary Geithner to work with Congress to find a way forward. Those discussions started just yesterday and are continuing this afternoon. The talks are ongoing and productive, but any reports that we are near a deal in the tax cuts negotiations are inaccurate and premature."
Dear Mr. President and Sen. Harry Reid:
Please don't f#%k this up with some bullshit compromise with capitulation to these insurrectionist Republicans holding our government hostage for tax cuts for the "two percenters."
This is a no-brainer, Senator. Let the Republicans offer their "millionaires and billionaires" amendment — it requires 60 votes for the Senate to consider an amendment. Democrats have the votes to kill the GOP "millionaires and billionaires" amendment, even with conservadem defections.
Then bring up the House bill, the Obama Middle Class Tax Relief Act for a vote and dare Republicans to vote against America's middle class — and raise everyone's taxes on January 1 because they insisted upon tax cuts for the "two percenters" whom they serve.
Mr. President, you have consistently said that we cannot afford the $700 billion in additional borrowing required to pay for tax cuts for the "two percenters." You now have the tax bill you always wanted, there is no longer any reason to negotiate with Republicans who have acted in bad faith in attempting to extort tax cuts for the "two percenters" by holding our government hostage. This kind of outrageous behavior is never to be condoned or rewarded. It is to be condemned and punished.
Mr. President, You should make a clear, concise bright-line statement that the House bill is the only bill that you will sign. It is the only measure now on the table. Declare your intention that you will veto any bill that contains a tax cut for the "two percenters." Period. Time for negotiation is over. This is what Americans are waiting to hear from you — Lead! Order Congress to stay in session through Christmas and New Year's Day if necessary.
Mr. President, please do not abandon America's middle class to these Republican insurrectionists waging class warfare against them. Defend America's middle class. Be their champion. Lead!
H/t Daily Kos: Here is the list of 20 Democrats. The crossed-out ones either retired or were defeated in the November election.
Brian Baird (WA-03) New Democrat (Retired after five terms)
Dan Boren (OK-02) Blue Dog (Begins sixth term in January)
Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03) Blue Dog (Defeated after one term) Artur Davis (AL-07) New Democrat (Defeated after three terms)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-25) (Begins ninth term in January)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL) Blue Dog (Defeated after three terms) Ron Klein (FL-22) (Defeated after two terms)
Jim Matheson (UT-02) Blue Dog & New Democrat (Begins sixth term in January)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07) Blue Dog & New Democrat (Begins eighth term in January)
Mike McMahon (NY-13) (Defeated after one term)
Jerry McNerney (CA-11) (Begins third term in January)
Walt Minnick (ID-01) Blue Dog (Defeated after one term)
Gwen Moore (WI-04) (Begins fourth term in January)
Jim Moran (VA-08) New Democrat (Begins 11th term in January)
Collin Peterson (MN-07) Blue Dog (Begins 11th term in January)
Earl Pomeroy Blue Dog (Defeated after nine terms)
Bobby Scott (VA-03) (Begins 10th term in January)
Gene Taylor (MS-04) Blue Dog (Defeated after 10 terms)
Mike Thompson (CA-01) Blue Dog (Begins seventh term in January)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01) (Begins 14th term in January)
UPDATE: The New York Times reports:
Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he would bring the House bill to the Senate floor on Saturday and would hold votes on that measure, as well as on an alternative Democratic proposal to raise the threshold at which the lower rates expire to $1 million.
Democrats had hoped to hold those votes on Friday, as well as votes on two Republican proposals for extending the tax breaks, but late Thursday a single Republican senator registered an objection stopping those votes.
That prompted Mr. Reid to note that even after agreeing to take up the tax issue before anything else, he was encountering Republican obstruction.
“I think everybody remembers that famous letter that was written to me saying until we get tax cuts resolved, funding the government, we’re not going to let you do anything legislatively,” he said at a news conference late Thursday. “We’re at a new one tonight. They are not going to let us do anything with tax cuts or funding the government.”