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article imageHouse Democrats are openly opposed to Obama's tax cut position

By Michael Krebs     Dec 10, 2010 in Politics
In a symbolic vote to air their differences with President Obama, House Democrats have made their frustrations known on the issue of extending current tax rates into 2011 and beyond.
Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are openly defying President Obama on the issue of compromise with the Republican leadership on extending current tax rates for all Americans. The House exercised a symbolic vote on the matter, positioning themselves as protesters against what appears to otherwise be a key bipartisan agreement between the Obama administration and the newly elected Republican congressional base.
Some House Democrats have used colorful language, dropping the F-bomb in direct association with President Obama's decision.
Democratic lawmakers in the House chamber chanted "just say no" in the midst of a vigorous debate on the deal presented by the Obama administration.
President Obama moved toward compromise with the Republican establishment, acknowledging the impact that a January 1 tax hike would have on 95 percent of Americans. Obama's decision was a very public reversal, but it was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton.
The Democratic Party is divided on the tax question. Liberal wings want to see the Bush-era taxes expire on December 31, but others want to embrace compromise while licking their wounds after a nasty midterm election defeat this past November.
"A strong leader is one who knows when to compromise," Congressman Michael E. McMahon (D., N.Y.), a lame duck who has endorsed Mr. Obama's tax-cut deal, told the Wall Street Journal. McMahon additionally compared President Obama with "those who would block any and all action by stomping their feet like petulant children."
A tax cut deal is expected to pass the Senate, as it will also include a jobless benefits extension. If nothing is done, tax rates for 95 percent of Americans will increase on January 1.
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