BY JOHN FUND – Centrist House Democrats fear that they will once again be in the position of Charlie Brown having the football yanked away from him if Speaker Nancy Pelosi forces them to vote on extending tax cuts only for those making below $250,000 a year.
Many of them say such a vote would be futile because there is little support in the Senate to extend only the tax cuts for the middle-class before they expire at year’s end. They also worry about GOP accusations that they want to raise taxes on many small businesses who report their income on individual tax returns.
“You would think they would have learned a lesson on Nov. 2 from that,” Rep. Mike Ross, an Arkansas Democrat, told the newspaper Roll Call. “I saw a lot of good friends get beat in this last election because they were forced to take votes that we knew weren’t going anywhere in the Senate. I don’t know why you would force Members to cast a vote on something that you know is going to die in the Senate.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat who only narrowly won re-election last month, concurs: “I have a lot of trouble with [having the House vote].”
President Obama is also taking heat from many Congressional Democrats for creating a bipartisan panel to fashion a compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts. Senate Democrats were about to hold a vote on the issue, only the have the president pre-empt their plans with his own initiative.