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.
Moments earlier the House voted to move on to general debate of a tax-cut measure that would extend current rates, set to expire at the end of the month, to individuals making less than $250,000.
A vote on the final bill will take place later Thursday afternoon.
On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced the House would vote on permanently extending the tax cuts, enacted in 2001 and 2003, for American families earning as much as $250,000 a year. But that would not address the income tax rates for the highest earners, which includes a number of small businesses.
The Democratic move came as negotiators for the House, Senate and White House began bipartisan talks on resolving a months-long impasse over the issue. Many in Washington believe those discussions will ultimately result in a temporary extension for all the current tax rates.
“No, I don’t think [the vote] will undermine [the negotiations], nor is it intended to embarrass or to put Republicans in a difficult place,” Hoyer told reporters at his weekly briefing.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), however, said the bill would be dead on arrival in the Senate.
"Forty-two Republican senators, which is all of us, and an indeterminate number, significant number of Democrats, don't think we ought to raise taxes on anybody. So regardless of what the majority forces House Republicans to do, it's not going to go anywhere. We're going to extend the current tax rates, we're not going to raise taxes on anybody. The only thing we're discussing right now is how long that extension will be," the top-ranking GOP Senator said Wednesday night following a meeting with newly elected GOP governors.
Boehner said Wednesday "the bipartisan vote tomorrow will be to oppose only providing some tax relief."