House Approves Tax Deal, Virginia Delegation Splits


    Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan tax deal negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders in Congress.  The vote was 277-148, with Democrats splitting 139-112 and Republicans 138-36 in favor. Here’s the split in the Virginia delegation:

    Ayes (7)

    Rick Boucher (9th)

    Eric Cantor (7th)

    Gerry Connolly (11th)

    Bob Goodlatte (6th)

    Glenn Nye (2nd)

    Tom Perriello (5th)

    Rob Wittman (1st)

    Nays (4)

    Randy Forbes (4th)

    Jim Moran (8th)

    Bobby Scott (3rd)

    Frank Wolf (10th)

    According to Jim Moran, “This is the wrong thing to do, easy thing to do. Everybody loves tax cuts. Let’s just be Santa Claus.” In contrast, Gerry Connolly argued, “If we don’t pass the extension of the tax cuts now, every American will see smaller paychecks and higher taxes in January.” For his part, Eric Cantor declared, “The choice is to act now or impose the onset of a $3.8 trillion tax increase that will crush the fragile recovery and cost tens of thousands of jobs nationally. This is an indisputable fact and an unacceptable result.”

    Personally, I have (deeply) mixed feelings about this: on the one hand, there was probably no choice realistically speaking except to do this deal; on the other hand, extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is horribly bad policy; on the other hand, if taxes had gone up on January 1 for working and middle class Americans, it could have dealt a blow to the fragile economic recovery; on the other hand, this deal will blow up the debt by nearly a trillion dollars, making a mockery of the deficit commission’s recommendations; on the other hand, this was a major victory for President Obama and boosted his chances for reelection, maybe big time; on the other hand, I hate some of the add-ons (e.g., ethanol subsidies) in this deal; on the other hand…we could go on all day with this “making of sausage.” That’s Congress, I guess. So, what do you think?

    UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer argues that this deal practically guarantees Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I definitely think it’s a big, bipartisan victory for Obama.

    UPDATE #2: Also, check out the vote on an amendment to raise the estate tax rate and lower the threshold. I’m glad to see Representatives Moran, Perriello and Scott voting the right way – “aye” – on this one. I’m sorry to see all Republicans, plus three Democrats (Boucher, Connolly, Nye), voting the wrong way.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      My feeling is that the deal had to be made and made before the next Congress because of the Jan. 1 deadline. I have two objections. One is the give-away on the estate taxes. The 35% doesn’t bother me so much as the $5 million – $10 million exemption, rather than $3.5 million-$7 million. The other objection is the timing of the deal. A two-year extension plays into the GOP’s hand by putting the next decision during an election year.

    • blue bronc

      The last two years have marked the end of the Democratic Party.

      There is no reason to have a majority, even though many were DINO’s, to have reached a point of passing the disgrace that is now the Obama/Democratic Party borrow $800 Billion from the Chinese to give to the Ultra Rich and golden flow on the rest of america so the republicans don’t get upset any more bill.

      That part was terrible on it’s own. What is worse is the defunding of Social Security. A goal the Republicans have had since FDR got it through the Congress.  The Republicans won, they defeated and now destroyed not only the Democratic Party, but also Social Security.  This shame is why there is no more Democratic Party.  They abandoned the very essence of why there was a Democratic Party, they abandoned the American people. Shame on all who did this from the president to the senate and the house.

      I am ashamed of most of my party. There were a few in the Senate who voted for America against the anti-Americans, and several more in the House who voted against the anti-Americans, but with the destroy America, Obama tax cuts for the Ultra Rich and pee on the rest of america bill passing there are no longer enough Democrats to say there is a political party any more.

      I am not sure what to do now that I have no real party to talk about.  I will work to elect people to office who hold the former Democratic Party principles, but no others.  There is no straight party ticket available, unless something strange happens.

      What a sad ending to what was once the strong party of the people.  

    • robsmithiii

      with you, Lowell, but agreed with its passage almost without hesitation because the lower to middle class cuts and the unemployment extensions far outweighed anything else — and, in terms of strategy, I saw this as being a victory for the administration, something it needed (especially following the hcr ruling on Monday).  Life is full of tradeoffs and one of the most trying parts of Presidential decision-making is making sacrifices/taking punches to get something important passed.  Not many people enjoy negotiating but sometimes it has to be done.

    • NotJohnSMosby

      Obama will have grown some balls in two years and will actually campaign on the premise of killing these tax breaks for good.

      As to his re-election, it’s pretty simple.  If the economy is cooking by then – and I think it will be – his second term is assured.  If it isn’t, then it could be tough.