Pelosi Pulls One Last Political Stunt
House Democrats' maneuver blocks GOP amendments on tax vote
From the diaries by Erick.
With their days numbered in control of the U.S. House, Democrats are planning a political stunt Thursday in hopes of embarrassing Republicans on a vote to raise taxes.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Democrats would disregard the Obama administration’s ongoing negotiations with congressional Republicans and force a vote on taxes. Democrats will use a procedural maneuver preventing the GOP from offering an amendment to extend all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
Republicans immediately voiced alarm at the move. While the vote would prevent tax hikes on Americans earning $250,000 or less, small businesses would face steep tax increases under the Democrats’ plan.
Without an opportunity to offer amendments, Republicans are expected to vote against the measure. By doing so they’ll give Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) one final opportunity to demagogue the issue. However, it will likely be a short-lived victory. The measure has little chance of passing in the Senate.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, expressed his disappointment with the Democrats’ decision as negotiations with the administration continued.
“This is disappointing and a sign of bad faith after the president agreed to bipartisan, bi-cameral talks,” Camp told Fox News. “There will be bipartisan opposition to the Democrats’ push to raise taxes on small business.”
Given her authoritarian rule of the House, it’s not surprising Pelosi is using a procedural political trick to force Thursday’s floor vote. Democrats took a previously House-passed bill and replaced the language — preventing Republicans from offering amendments.
It remains unclear how the Democrats’ maneuver will impact the Obama administration’s negotiations over taxes — a top issue for Republicans in the lame-duck session. Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated the political stunt wouldn’t help matters.
“While we had a good meeting at the White House yesterday about how we’ll resolve the issue of stopping all the tax hikes, the House leaders are going to go down this path of gerrymandering the process so that members only have one option, and that’s to vote on only providing some tax relief to the American people,” Boehner told The Hill. “I think it’s wrong, it does undercut the conversation we had just yesterday.”