The release highlights the discharge petition filed by House Democrats on Tuesday to extend the Bush-era tax levels for the middle class but allow rates to rise for the wealthy. The petition will need 218 signatures to get to the House floor for a vote, and Democrats will be unable to achieve that majority without help from a few dozen Republicans.
The DCCC release characterizes a refusal to sign the petition as falling "fall in line with Grover Norquist and the extreme wing of his Republican party."
“Voters can now see if Congressman Tom Reed [R-N.Y.] stands with the middle class in New York or millionaires and Republicans in Washington. Congressman Reed can force a vote on middle class tax cuts if he is willing to stand against Grover Norquist and Speaker [John] Boehner’s plan that takes us over the fiscal cliff and leaves the middle class with a lump of coal,” said Jesse Ferguson, communications director and deputy executive director of the DCCC, in the release sent to reporters in Reed's district.
The committee issued a statement from DCCC chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) earlier Tuesday as well, in which he accused House GOP leadership of "holding the middle class hostage to protect millionaires and their pledge to Grover Norquist."
Norquist's no-tax pledge has of late fallen out of favor with some in the GOP, as Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), have all said they would be willing to break the pledge.
And it seems that Democrats believe the argument that GOP members are beholden to someone other than their constituents, that they're protecting "millionaires at the expense of the middle class," as Israel put it, will be a winning one in 2014.
Most of the Republicans included in the blast were involved in tight races in 2012, and will likely again be top Democratic targets. A few, however, are in safe districts but have either indicated an openness to raising taxes or are close to the process, including Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should accept the extension of tax cuts for everyone but the wealthy, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who was just nominated NRCC chairman.
The early attacks indicate that negotiations surrounding the "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit next month could become a central focus of the partisan back-and-forth in the next cycle.