Yank the Tax Cuts; Put Back the Family Planning

So here is the question: If an economic stimulus bill that has both tax cuts and job-creating government spending is unacceptable to the entire Republican House membership, then why keep the tax cuts in there? And if the family planning provision was pulled at the last minute because House Republicans objected to it, and then every single one of them voted against the damn bill, then why not put that provision back in?

Rank-and-file Congressional Democrats had been willing to give Republicans the business tax cuts and other provisions they wanted in the stimulus. That is, up until every single one voted against the bill on the House floor Wednesday.

Now, in both the House and the Senate, angry members are lobbying Democratic leaders to yank those tax breaks back.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked Thursday by the Huffington Post why the business tax cuts, whose purpose was to garner Republican support, would be left in the bill if no Republicans supported it regardless.

“That’s what my members ask me,” said Pelosi. “It wasn’t something that was suggested [by Democrats]. It was a heavy lift for our members, but they understood that it has a benefit and were willing to support it.”

So far, she said, she has been resistant to removing the cuts from the package. “It’s something that we can live with,” she said. “I can’t answer why they wouldn’t vote for this even though their main net-operating-loss carry-back suggestion was part of the tax cuts.”

Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said that Democratic leadership was still willing to work with the GOP. “I’ve heard that discussion,” he said of the push by Democratic members to take back the business tax cuts and include provisions, such as funds for family planning, that were eliminated due to Republicans objections.

Why not? If Republicans are going to vote against the bill even with concessions that were put in there to get them to vote for it, who needs ’em?

Meanwhile, that GOP leadership is complaining about this new ad:


The hypocrisy quotient is in fine fettle:

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)  will soon issue a statement contending that Obama’s promise to “put an end to petty politics” is “threatened” as the White House and their allies “are making political threats rather than crafting a bipartisan economic stimulus plan.”

He’ll call on Obama to “immediately disavow” plans by liberal interest groups who have announced their intention to run attack ads against the Republicans. These groups, organized under the Americans United for Change umbrella, coordinate regularly with Congressional Democrats and are in touch with White House officials.

Earlier, an Obama aide said that the White House was not directly involved in these most recent efforts and had not encouraged its allies. The plans were reported in the Politico by its chief political reporter, Mike Allen.

“Let us be clear: attack ads will not create jobs or help struggling families but will only serve to undermine our nation’s desire for bipartisanship. Instead of thinking about winning at any cost, we should all be thinking about creating the jobs Americans need,” Cantor intends to say.

Nate Silver asks:

Is this really the Associated Press lede that the Republicans wanted?

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night with spending increases and tax cuts at the heart of the young administration’s plan to revive a badly ailing economy. The vote was 244-188, with Republicans unanimous in opposition despite Obama’s frequent pleas for bipartisan support.

Zero is sometimes a big number. If the stimulus bill had passed the House today with a handful of Republican votes — six or eight or twelve or twenty — the party would presumably have gotten its point across about the merit of the legislation. But the bill didn’t get a handful of Republican votes — it got none at all. You’d think there would be one Republican out of 178 who found his way to a yes vote based on the particular cadences of his political philosophy and the electoral politics of his district. But there was not.

The question is whether a result like this could have came about by accident — or whether it must have been engineered by the party leadership. I’m not sure that the answer to that is obvious. The House does not cast a secret ballot. It seems plausible that there were a dozen or so Republicans who were on the fence, waiting to see how their colleagues would vote — and when those votes started to come in unanimously against the bill, nobody wanted to be the ugly [duckling].

But does it do the party as a whole any good for having opposed the bill unanimously? With headlines like the one in the Associated Press, it’s hard to imagine so. Their unanimous opposition reads as an emphatic rejection of the President and the President’s attempts at “bipartisanship”. And the President is very popular right now.

It’s not just the President. If we can believe this, Republicans are an endangered species.

3 Responses to “Yank the Tax Cuts; Put Back the Family Planning”

  1. Jack Jodell says:

    The Republicans are acting like a group of spoiled crybabies and they should be treated as such. Obama and the Dems should continue treating them with civility and allowing them input, but since the GOP’s errant idea of bipartisanship is their way or the highway, there should be absolutely no more concessions made to them. Concessions already made should indeed be yanked back, and the plan should be put to a full vote and passed, steamrolling the GOP in the process and teaching them an important lesson. Perhaps once they get the message that bipartisanship means cooperation and give and take, then they’ll be deserving of concessions and will get them. Until then, forget it, and let’s stop pandering to these uncooperative, pouting crybabies and give them exactly what they deserve – nothing!

  2. DrGail says:

    “Let us be clear: attack ads will not create jobs or help struggling families but will only serve to undermine our nation’s desire for bipartisanship. Instead of thinking about winning at any cost, we should all be thinking about creating the jobs Americans need,” Cantor intends to say.

    Well, actually attack ads DO create jobs, in that they represent some spending. What certainly DOESN’T create jobs is Republican members of Congress sucking up all the available airtime on the cable news shows (since they already have good-paying jobs which, not coincidentally, exist courtesy of American taxpayers) and then voting en masse against the stimulus bill.

  3. Kathy says:

    Whoa! Two batters hit it out of the ballpark — and on my post!

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