Call it Weaker Pelosi’s last gasp.
This morning, the Dems forced a rule-making vote on the Obama tax increases that will, as Rob Bluey reported, prevent Republicans from offering an amendment to stop ALL the Obama tax increases scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2011.
GOP Leader John Boehner blasted the maneuver:
House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-OH) has called today’s tax hike vote a “Washington stalling tactic with job-killing implications,” and with good reason:
* Small businesses are “reluctant” to hire on account of the uncertainty surrounding Congress’s failure to stop the tax hikes. One small business owner in Michigan – unemployment: 12.3 percent – tells The Wall Street Journal he is “hiring at half the rate we would be if I had more confidence about the future.” Specifically, “he says he’s concerned about how Congress will vote on matters that could have a substantial impact on small businesses like his, such as income taxes and the new health law’s 1099 provision, which requires businesses to file a tax report when they pay a vendor more than $600 in a year.”
* The IRS commissioner warns that Congress’s failure to act in short order on tax policy could be “extremely detrimental” and “risk significantly delaying refunds.” “Many retailers and economists worry that the tax increase could tamp down household spending and further weaken employment and the fragile recovery,” today’s Wall Street Journal notes. “Underscoring that risk, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Douglas Shulman, sent a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, warning that postponing extension of some breaks, such as a measure to diminish the bite of the alternative minimum tax, could be ‘extremely detrimental’ and risk significantly delaying refunds.”
House Democrats’ maneuvers are intended to “serve as a signal to the party’s liberal base that Democratic lawmakers aren’t giving up” on a job-killing tax hike on small businesses. While January 1st looms large for families and small businesses facing the prospect of massive tax hikes, lame-duck Democrats are focused on appeasing their liberal base:
The rule passed 213-203.
Most interesting: 33 Democrats joined 170 Republicans in trying to vote down the tax-hike procedural stunt.
Cracks in the liberal establishment armor? Let’s hope.
I’ve broken out the 33 Democrats for future reference:
Not good enough.
Boehner via The Hill:
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Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the House Democrats’ vote on extending certain tax breaks “chicken crap” on Thursday.
“I’m trying to catch my breath so I don’t refer to this maneuver going on today as chicken crap, all right,” the top-ranking House Republican said sarcastically, “but this is nonsense! We’re 23 months from the next election and the political games have already started trying to set up the next election.
“We have an honest conversation at the White House about the challenges that we face to get out of here. … And to roll this vote out today, it really is just … it’s what you think I was going to say,” he said.
Jonathan Gruber cashed in even more than previously thought; Update: And Obama JUST found out about all this
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