House Democrats voted in a private meeting this morning to reject the tax cut plan President Obama negotiated with the GOP.
By voice vote, Democrats agreed to a non-binding resolution, introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), not to bring up the Obama plan in its current form.
A House Democratic aide characterized the rebuke as a “vote of no-confidence” in the package — a ratification of the anger Dems expressed to Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting yesterday evening about the details of the plan and the fact that House Democrats were closed out of the negotiations.
The vote itself does not scuttle the deal, which most Dems predict will pass with overwhelming support from House Republicans, and a small but significant amount of support from Dems. However, if Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to bring the bill to the floor, the calculus changes dramatically. Thus far, Pelosi has made no indication that she plans to thwart the President.
Update: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement following the vote:
House Democrats share the President’s commitment to providing the middle class with a tax cut to grow the economy and create jobs. The House passed a bill last week to provide tax cuts for all Americans but not a bonus tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. The extra tax cut for the top 3 percent does not create jobs and increases the deficit. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from being approved by the Senate.
In the Caucus today, House Democrats supported a resolution to reject the Senate Republican tax provisions as currently written. We will continue discussions with the President and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote.
Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to create jobs and economic growth, to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and to do this in a fiscally sound way.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.