Boehner surprise: Dems barely get votes to adjourn after floor speech

House Democrats on Wednesday barely won a 210-209 vote to adjourn the House without extending the Bush tax cuts.

Thirty-nine House Democrats voted against adjournment after Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it Harry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' MORE (R-Ohio) urged opposition to the motion in a floor speech that said it would be irresponsible for Congress to leave without providing certainty on the tax issue. Dozens of Democrats in tough races voted against adjourning.

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"Vote no on this adjournment resolution. Give Congress a chance to vote on extending tax rates," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it Harry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' MORE said. 

Boehner's floor speech turned the vote on adjournment into a referendum on the tax cuts, which has divided Democrats for months. President Obama wants to extend tax cuts for families making less than $250,000, while allowing taxes to rise on income above that threshold. Many centrist Democrats have joined Republicans in arguing for extending all of the tax cuts. 



House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday that the House would not vote on the expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts before lawmakers break for the November midterm elections. The House is expected to conclude its work late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

The House had been seen as unlikely to vote on the tax measure since the Senate decided last week against acting on it before the election, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not inform lawmakers of a final decision until Wednesday morning, a House leadership aide said. Hoyer and Pelosi had split on the timing of the vote, but the aide said the two party leaders were ultimately on the same page.

Wednesday's vote, however, made it clear that dozens of Democrats were uncomfortable with leaving Washington without a vote on extending the tax cuts. 

The 39 Democrats who voted against adjournment were a mix of centrist Blue Dogs and vulnerable members from Republican-leaning districts. Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyLawmakers, whistleblower advocates push Biden to fill federal employment board The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (Va.), Travis Childers (Miss.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEverybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big MORE (Ind.), Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), Frank Kratovil (Md.), Walt Minnick (Idaho) and Tom Perriello (Va.) were among the vulnerable Democrats to vote against ending the work period without voting on the tax cuts. 

Three House Democrats who are running for Senate, Reps. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Charlie Melancon (La.) and Joe Sestak (Pa.) also voted against adjournment.

Members who voted to adjourn were "putting their election above the needs of your constituents," Boehner said in his speech. "Vote no on this adjournment resolution. Give Congress the chance to vote on extending tax rates."

Following the vote, Pelosi's office criticized Boehner's speech, saying it did not contain productive solutions to help aid the economic recovery.

"After listening to House Republican Leader John Boehner’s speech on the House floor today, it is clear that Americans face a choice: keep moving America forward—or return to what Republicans themselves call the 'exact same' agenda of failed ideas that favored corporate special interests, pushed us to the brink of economic disaster and left the middle class and small businesses struggling," a release from her office reads.

The House still has several votes today, including on a measure to keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3, before it adjourns. 

Here's the full list of Democrats who voted against adjournment: 

Rep. John Adler (N.J.)

Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.)

Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.)

Rep. Melissa Bean (Ill.)

Rep. Tim BishopTimothy (Tim) Howard BishopOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Dem candidate 'struck by the parallels' between Trump's rise and Hitler's Dems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary MORE (N.Y.)

Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.)

Rep. Chris Carney (Pa.)

Rep. Travis Childers (Miss.)

Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.)

Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)

Rep. Steve Driehaus (Ohio)

Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas)

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.)

Rep. Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterLawmakers say manufacturers are in better position to handle future pandemics Lawmakers grill NSA on years-old breach in the wake of massive Russian hack Hillicon Valley: WhatsApp delays controversial privacy update | Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit alleging e-book price fixing | Biden launches new Twitter account ahead of inauguration MORE (Ill.)

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.)

Rep. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichGroups petition EPA to remove ethane and methane from list of compounds exempt from emissions limits Senators press for answers in Space Command move decision Democrats wrestle over tax hikes for infrastructure MORE (N.M.)

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.)

Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio)

Rep. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickSurgeon who treated Gabby Giffords after shooting launches House bid in Arizona These House lawmakers aren't seeking reelection in 2022 Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat MORE (Ariz.)

Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.)

Rep. Betsy Markey (Colo.)

Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.)

Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.) 

Rep. Mike McMahon (N.Y.)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)

Rep. Charlie Melancon (La.)

Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine)

Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho)

Rep. Harry Mitchell (Ariz.)

Rep. Patrick Murphy (Pa.)

Rep. Glenn Nye (Va.)

Rep. Tom Perriello (Va.)

Rep. Gary Peters (Mich.)

Rep. Mark Schauer (Mich.)

Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.)

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.)

Rep. Zack Space (Ohio)

Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.)

Rep. Dina Titus (Nev.)

Ian Swanson and Russell Berman contributed to this post

This story was updated at 2:00 p.m. and at 2:48 p.m.