By Erik Wasson
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) decided late Thursday that the time just wasn't right for a House vote on the bipartisan deficit recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson commission.
Cooper blames President Obama, in part, for the fact that the House will not be voting to substitute the fiscal commission's recommendations for the GOP 2012 budget on the floor.
"Yesterday, the president made an important speech on the budget that, temporarily at least, has inflamed partisan passions on both sides of the aisle, making a vote tomorrow less likely to be a reasoned one," Cooper said Thursday.
He said Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) deserve better treatment for trying to tackle the debt.
Cooper also withdrew his amendment, which was to receive a floor vote Friday during consideration of the Ryan 2012 budget, because the vote could have hurt Gang of Six talks in the Senate.
"Another crucial development is the sensitive nature of the quiet Senate negotiations on deficit reduction, particularly the so-called Gang of Six. We all realize that, because the other body is less partisan than today’s House, a comprehensive solution is more likely to originate in that chamber. The fact that senators ranging from Durbin to Coburn have already supported Bowles-Simpson is proof. I do not think it is wise to risk doing anything to derail or impair those behind-the-scenes negotiations, which I am told by key senators in both parties could be the result of a premature House vote," he said.