Centrist, conservative Dems up in arms over liberals' tax deal backlash

Not all House Democrats are on board with their caucus's decision to fight for changes to the White House tax package.

Although the resolution solidifying the revolt was approved by House Democrats Thursday "nearly unanimously," in the words of sponsor Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), a handful of centrist members are already up in arms.


Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.), among the most conservative Democrats on Capitol Hill, said he's "extremely displeased" that the White House-GOP deal might not come to the floor as it stands.

"A clear majority of the U.S. House of Representatives supports this plan," Boren said in a statement. "We are allowing the liberal wing of the Democratic caucus to hold these critically needed tax cuts hostage."

Democratic leaders, he added, "are either not listening to what the voters are saying, or they are not interested in doing what is best for the American economy."

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) also said he wants to see the Obama deal come to a vote. 

"I don’t agree with my party’s leadership on that, but then again, what’s new?" he told reporters. "I support bringing it up, and I plan to vote for it."

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) also expressed disappointment in leadership's move to fight for changes to the compromise, saying there's "a whole lot in this bill I could go home with and be very proud of."

Furthermore, she noted, the compromise bill is likely the only proposal the Senate will be able to pass.
"If this is the package that the Senate is going to vote on, if they pass it, it’s coming to us with no amendments," she said. "I didn’t want to have a resolution from the caucus that says we’re opposed to it, because if that’s what’s on the floor, that’s what I’m voting for."

Approved by House Democrats during a closed-door caucus meeting, DeFazio's resolution says simply that Democrats won't take up the tax package in its current form. Though the measure is non-binding, the widespread support from rank-and-file members put immediate pressure on leadership to get on board.

A few hours after the DeFazio measure was approved, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did just that.

"We will continue discussions with the President and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote," she said in a statement.