Open thread: Tax cuts armageddon in the House; Update: Estate tax amendment fails; Update: Final bill passes, 277-148

posted at 9:29 pm on December 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

Am I mistaken or is this the biggest vote in the House since ObamaCare in March? Surely it’s the biggest for The One himself, whose last vestiges of prestige are on the line. As I write this, they’re in the middle of three hours of floor debate on the bill. C-SPAN says a final vote is expected at around 11 p.m., but the whole package could be dead before then if liberals somehow cobble together enough support to pass Pomeroy’s estate tax amendment. No word yet on when that vote’s scheduled, but it’s worth tuning in now to make sure you watch it come off. If the amendment passes, the White House will instantly be in War Room mode. A major subplot here: Whither the approval rating of one of the most widely reviled institutions in modern American life? If the deal collapses, I figure Congress will finally break through the 10 percent floor. If they hold it together, we might see a bounce all the way up to a breezy 20 percent. Stay tuned.

In case you get bored while you wait, via Ace, here’s Jon Stewart’s interview last night with “Michael Steele.” Hang in there until he gets to the “To-Diddle List.” And stand by for updates as the House votes come off.


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Update: Here we go on the Pomeroy amendment at a little after 11:20 p.m. If this passes, it really is armageddon for Hopenchange.

Update: At 11:37 p.m., Pomeroy’s amendment is down in flames. As I write this, it’s 190-230. All Republicans thus far have voted no, along with 59 Democrats. Not close, really; I’ll bet the Blue Dogs savored every minute of sticking it to the left after last month’s election.

Now it’s on to a vote on the final bill. With the margin on this vote this wide, there’s practically no chance that that one will fail.

Update: Final tally on Pomeroy’s amendment is 194-233. Now onto the big one.

Update: It’s a merry Christmas for The One. 225-120 as I write this, which is already more than enough for a majority with almost 100 congressmen still to vote. The GOP delivered big for Obama, with 120 yeses thus far compared to only 28 no’s. Among Democrats, it’s 114 to 96 at the moment. Stand by for the final tally and, eventually, the roll.

Update: Ed’s suggested headline on Twitter: “President Obama successfully whips Dem caucus to endorse Bush tax policy.” In fact, they’re already at 269 yeses with a few minutes left to go in the vote. Dave Weigel notes that the original Bush tax cuts passed with only 230 yeses. Progress!

Update: A total landslide as the gavel comes down: 277-148. Among Democrats, it’s 139 yea and 112 nay. Among the GOP, 138 versus just 36. Stand by for the roll to see how everyone voted.

Update: Ed notes, per the final tally, that more Democrats ended up voting to extend the Bush tax cuts than Republicans did. Progress, the sequel!

Update: The roll should be available as a link at the top of the calendar here sometime during the next hour.

Update: I think this is the roll, but the bill title is wrong. Assuming I’m right, a brief but incomplete list of prominent Republicans voting no: Michele Bachmann, Joe Barton, Jason Chaffetz, Jeff Flake, Pete Hoekstra, Steve King, Thad McCotter, Mike Pence, John Shadegg, and Joe Wilson. A few Republicans voting yes: Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, John Boozman, Eric Cantor, David Dreier, Jeb Hensarling, Darrell Issa, Peter King, Ron Paul, Paul Ryan, and Pete Sessions. Oh, and Dennis Kucinich voted … yes.

Update: I’m hearing that that is, in fact, the correct roll. The bill title looks strange because they used an old bill as a palimpsest for this one.


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Payroll tax cut for a year? Yet a billion to ObamaCare with several new taxes on ObamaCare beginning Jan.1 2011, including a New payroll tax that will hit your paychecks beginning Jan.1 2011.

….He-e-e-elp! I’m confused!

try again later on December 17, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Payroll Tax Holiday:

* Through 2011, employees who pay 6.2 percent Social Security tax on wages earned up to $106,800 will get a temporary payroll tax holiday of two percentage points decreasing their contribution to 4.2 percent on wages earned. Self-employed individuals will receive a reduction in payroll self-employment tax from 12.4 percent to 10:4 percent.

Col.John Wm. Reed on December 17, 2010 at 8:21 AM

The surprise to those close to getting Social Security the tax holiday will reduce your benefit amount.

Dasher on December 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Ed’s suggested headline on Twitter: “President Obama successfully whips Dem caucus to endorse Bush tax policy.”

In a tony suburban neighborhood of Dallas, there sits a 64-year old man, fresh off a book tour, at home with his loving wife and dog, waiting for his two daughters to come home for Christmas. This man is chatting with his loving wife over this news…and is having a big old laugh over this.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Defenestrate the lying weasel rat Republicans who sold us all out with this massive spending increase. Record the roll of dishonor and primary them all!

SunSword on December 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

SunSword on December 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Thank you, Robespierre.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 10:13 AM

What is there to say? Republicans are simply liars and cowards. Democrats are liars and tyrants. Boehner should be primaried in 2012. There are no words.

The Republic is comatose and on life support. Who will tell the family?

Western_Civ on December 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I guesss I am confused. I thought there were a series of changes in the end. What were those changes? Reid pulled the bill in the Senate to make changes. What changes did he make?

What the heck just happened? Was there just a bunch of who-ha and we got the pork bill, or did they do some good before the vote? Is the house bill the same as it started out?

saiga on December 17, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Count me as one of the confused about all these bills they are voting on – I cannot keep up any more as my brain has twisted itself into a pretzel trying. I thought, when I went to bed last night, that when Reid pulled the bill we had won a victory. Is this the same bill or a different one? And then I get up this morning and find, according to Krauthammer, that not only is this a win for Obama, but he pulled one over on the Republicans(I’ll admit that is easy to do)and he will no doubt now be reelected. WTH?

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

This man is chatting with his loving wife over this news…and is having a big old laugh over this.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 10:05 AM

heh. All that that man has to do is sign books, enjoy retirement and enjoy a daily heaping pile of schadenfreude……

It’s nice to be right, but its fricking hilarious to be proven right over and over again by your biggest enemy.

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Maybe this will help.

kingsjester on December 17, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Maybe this will help.

kingsjester on December 17, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Thanks. At least it clarified that it was two separate bills – they’re all starting to run together in my mind. Why is Krauthammer saying that Obama snookered the R’s on this – is it because there is so much spending in it that benefits the D’s? He also says Obama will be reelected. Based on this? If this is so, how can it be a plus for us? Then I see Rich Lowry on Fox saying it was a big win for us. See why I am conflicted? You’ve got one conservative saying one thing and another conservative saying the opposite. I don’t know what to believe. So did we win or lose? Guess it just depends, huh?

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 11:18 AM

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Sweetie, try listening to Rush on the radio instead and give Krauthammer a miss.
Rich Lowry’s kind of squish, too, while we’re at it.
But Charles K. is practically a stool pigeon for Baghdad Bob Gibbs.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 11:36 AM

This man is chatting with his loving wife over this news…and is having a big old laugh over this.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Don’t you imagine he’s even happier for the rest of the country that we don’t have to face the looming specter of everything going so far up after the New Year and that we can spend what we’d hoped to for Christmas, knowing we’d still be keeping a bit more of our own money?

Without these tax cuts being renewed, the economy was going to take a HUGE nosedive, perhaps never to recover.
The market’s still slightly down even with them today.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I can’t seem to find Hotair’s coverage of the senate blocking the Zadroga Bill anywhere.

Hmmm why is that.

Dave Rywall on December 17, 2010 at 11:48 AM

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Dr. K, while he is a very smart man and an FB friend, used to work for Walter Mondale. He tends to view every situation from a Beltway Insider perspective. I think the Tea Party groundswell movement and America’s return to Reagan Conservatism makes him a wee bit uncomfortable.

kingsjester on December 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Count me as one of the confused about all these bills they are voting on – I cannot keep up any more as my brain has twisted itself into a pretzel trying.
-
silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I agree. There is no longer a system of propose, debate and vote. Instead votes are being postponed, not just because of elections, but to use the reporting time lag, and the old trick of the shell game to prevent the public from having a handle on the intent of DC, until it is too late

It worked with Obamacare. write the bill off site. Make it at least a thousand pages. Take a couple years, if you need it. Spread misinformation about the content, in advance. There is lots of time. Meanwhile, pepper it with bribes, and release PSA’s about the goodness of your intentions. Then, two minutes before midnight, submit a simile of the bill, block debate, disallow amendments, and ram it through. Then send out the Legions to lie about it

All the public can do it try to figure out who is on which side and vote them out years later. Figuring out who your friends are is is like identifying a lemming in a pack of lemmings, or determining which dog in the dog pack is ripping less off the zebra.

entagor on December 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

GW Bush knew exactly what he was doing when he pushed for the sunset provision in his 2001 tax bill. I’m convinced he instinctively KNEW that there would be this sort of gnashing of teeth over it expiring, and that any future Dem president wouldn’t want to be trying to defend letting them expire.

I’ll even bet he anticipated certain Republicans (Erick Erickson, I’m referring to you!) would try the “let it expire” gambit, on the grounds of parceling out Blame and Credit.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Rush is skewering the MSM template over this stuff. He’s laying the landmines for the weekend talk shows.

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Rush is wrong. This is a huge victory for Obama and a defeat for democracy.

Lame Duck congresses serve no purpose and are anti-democratic. This problem needs to be rectified.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Rush is also wrong about the tax bill being the diversion for the spending bill. If anything the evidence shows it was the other way around. The massive pork/spend bill with Republican names in it was the diversion, the leverage used to force the hands of cowardly rank and file Republicans on the pork/tax bill.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I wish rush were talking about eliminating Lame Ducks in the future.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I wish Rush were talking would talk about eliminating Lame Ducks in the future.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:27 PM

This is a huge victory for Obama and a defeat for democracy.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM

And you concluded this…How? Why?

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM

This corrupt backroom deal wouldn’t have passed in the new congress, that’s why it was a loss, Rush. McConnell and Boehner are lame ducks. We need to replace them as soon as possible, but that may have to wait until after ’12.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:31 PM

And you concluded this…How? Why?

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I think it was a defeat for Obama, too, so I was wrong to call it a “huge victory” for Obama. He caved on the Bush tax cuts, but that’s understandable because we just wasted him in November. But that’s also why this was a loss for Republicans. We didn’t need to make a deal at all and Obama and the Republicans would have had to go along. If not, they would have been committing electoral suicide.

They wouldn’t have been shooting themselves in the foot, but in their head.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:36 PM

and Obama and the Republicans Democrats, (not that there’s a lot of difference), would have had to go along. If not, they would have been committing electoral suicide.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:38 PM

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:36 PM

It’s a defeat for 0bama and a minor triumph for democracy because it shows, once again, that elections have consequences.

The Republicans were wise to go for the tax cuts now (before Christmas).
People and Wall Street can exhale for awhile, enjoy Christmas and hope the New Year and New Congress can do even better.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 12:41 PM

So does this mean the Republicans are no longer the Party of No?

tom on December 17, 2010 at 12:43 PM

The market’s still slightly down even with them today.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Perhaps the market would prefer some fiscal sanity from the Federal Gov

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 12:44 PM

We didn’t need to make a deal at all and Obama and the Republicans would have had to go along

I agree we should have waited 3 more weeks for our hand to strengthen. With the additional taxes and house memebers we could have steamrolled his ass.

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 12:46 PM

It’s a defeat for 0bama and a minor triumph for democracy because it shows, once again, that elections have consequences.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 12:41 PM

What consequence? The corrupt establishment just spent hundreds of billions of dollars of money that we won’t have for a long time. Generational theft is not a victory.

This was a violation voter intent in November. Lame Duck congresses are anti-democratic and should be eliminated. The next congress would have gotten a much better deal. They’ve been elected to represent their districts and they didn’t have a vote in this matter, all of the corrupt lowlifes we just threw out of office did.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Congress will never make the current tax rates permanent. The way it is now, they can pass a “tax cut” bill every two years, pat themselves on the back, go back to the people and tell them how much they have done for the people … without actually doing anything at all. By simply keeping things as they are, they can posture themselves as having done something amazing for the people.

It’s a load of hooey.

crosspatch on December 17, 2010 at 12:54 PM

How can anyone think this is a defeat for Obama? He gave up nothing (tax rates are increasing overall next year compared to 2010) and he got trillions more in new spending. Plus in the eyes of moron moderate he looks great because he is willing to work with Republicans to “get things done”.

It’s huge win for him. Huge isn’t even the right word. Monumental win is more like it.

angryed on December 17, 2010 at 12:56 PM

crosspatch on December 17, 2010 at 12:54 PM

And every two years, desperate Republicans will panic and grant Democrats hundreds of billions of more deficit spending and then pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

A recipe for disaster.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM

A recipe for disaster.

It’s basically why we have so much debt in the first place. Nothings changed since November even though it should have. That’s why Lame Duck’s are anti-democratic and should be eliminated in the future.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:08 PM

And every two years, desperate Republicans will panic and grant Democrats hundreds of billions of more deficit spending and then pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

A recipe for disaster.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM

The only desperate ones here are the Democrats, including the POTUS who tried to bring in an ex-POTUS to give him street cred.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 1:09 PM

How can anyone think this is a defeat for Obama?

It’s easy, because it is.

he got trillions more in new spending.

Explain this, because he did not.

Plus in the eyes of moron moderate he looks great because he is willing to work with Republicans to “get things done”.

angryed on December 17, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Who and where are those “moderates?”
0bama’s not falling any one.
His popularity ratings are dropping like a stone.
He’s working with Republicans because he has no choice.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 1:12 PM

“He gave up nothing (tax rates are increasing overall next year compared to 2010) and he got trillions more in new spending.”

The omnibus spending bill did not pass. This was only the tax bill, not the spending bill.

crosspatch on December 17, 2010 at 1:25 PM

The only desperate ones here are the Democrats, including the POTUS who tried to bring in an ex-POTUS to give him street cred.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Well if you guys hadn’t been so desperate we would have waited and let the new tea party congress deal with this. What do you have against the new congress? Knowing you, probably nothing, but something must have been motivating you guys and it sure looked like desperation to me.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:38 PM

We’re never going to be able to tackle the debt crises if Republicans continue to run around like Chicken Little’s spending hundreds of billions here and hundreds of billions there without cutting spending elsewhere.

If we don’t tackle the debt crises then our economy is doomed no matter what the tax rates are.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:45 PM

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Just out of curiosity, would you care to explain why the new “Tea Party Congress” would have ANY incentive to pass ANY tax cuts after they take office? After all, Obama would get all blame for the bad economy that would result from the tax cuts expiring, and that “Tea Party Congress” doens’t want to give Obama ANYTHING that can be construed as a “victory” for him….

Sometimes, you take care of things because they need to be taken care of, not just for some perceived “negotiating advantage” that can never be guaranteed.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 11:18 AM
Sweetie, try listening to Rush on the radio instead and give Krauthammer a miss.
Rich Lowry’s kind of squish, too, while we’re at it.
But Charles K. is practically a stool pigeon for Baghdad Bob Gibbs.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 11:36 AM

I always get a queezy feeling when a total stranger calls me “sweetie” and proceeds to school me on who I should be listening to and who to believe – it sounds a like like condecension. But from reading the comments on here, I see I’m not the only one conflicted on these issues. I do listen to Rush, I hear Krauthammer on Fox News, and Lowry occasionally when he appears on Fox. I thought these were all conservatives, but it appears not so much.

And let me get one thing clear, because several commenters over several occasions have inferred as much because of my moniker or whatever the correct term is, I may be a grandma but I am not a decrepit helpless twit who knows nothing, and in the scheme of things, I am not really that old. I can hold my own in arguments, just ask my poor husband.

silvernana on December 17, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Sometimes, you take care of things because they need to be taken care of, not just for some perceived “negotiating advantage” that can never be guaranteed.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM

This is about economics, not partisanship. We have a debt crises that must be addressed. I’m not interested in “negotiating advantage” or politics except to the extent necessary to save our future. We can’t save our country by continuing our spending spree.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 2:08 PM

The only desperate ones here are the Democrats, including the POTUS who tried to bring in an ex-POTUS to give him street cred.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Well if you guys hadn’t been so desperate we would have waited and let the new tea party congress deal with this. What do you have against the new congress? Knowing you, probably nothing, but something must have been motivating you guys and it sure looked like desperation to me.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Your wasting your time arguing with jenfidel on debt, here is her comment from the Krauthammer headline earlier today

As for the deficit, I could care less, really.
I care a lot more about how much I’ll have to pay in taxes personally.
A lot more.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 10:25 AM

This is why we are so screwed as a country, attitudes like hers

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I always get a queezy feeling when a total stranger calls me “sweetie” and proceeds to school me on who I should be listening to and who to believe – it sounds a like like condecension.

she does this a lot…for the purpose of being condescending

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Sometimes, you take care of things because they need to be taken care of, not just for some perceived “negotiating advantage” that can never be guaranteed.

BradSchwartze on December 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Dude wtf the negotiating advantage is guaranteed we won 63 seats already…in november. And if you can cut better deal in 2 weeks why not wait. Would you really take a bad deal quick than take your time on a better one?

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I can’t seem to find Hotair’s coverage of the senate blocking the Zadroga Bill anywhere.

Hmmm why is that.

Dave Rywall on December 17, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Well now the firefighters and first responders who make over $200,000 will have enough money to pay for their own bills!

mmnowakjr85 on December 17, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Would you really take a bad deal quick than take your time on a better one?

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 2:34 PM

With Wall Street, Christmas and the future of our national economy in the balance? yes.
Only it’s a choice between a good thing and a better thing.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 3:46 PM

With Wall Street, Christmas and the future of our national economy in the balance? yes.
Only it’s a choice between a good thing and a better thing.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 3:46 PM

What the hell are you talking about. You can fix 2011 tax rates in 2011, because you dont pay them till 2012.

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 3:48 PM

What is amazing to me is that Pomeroy, who comes from a farm state, would support decreasing the zero-line on the estate tax. The ND farmers must have guessed right about his intentions, which is why they turned him out.

unclesmrgol on December 17, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I can’t seem to find Hotair’s coverage of the senate blocking the Zadroga Bill anywhere.

Hmmm why is that.

Dave Rywall on December 17, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Maybe you should remedy the situation.

The Zadroga bill was one of those that wasn’t the tax bill wasn’t it?

The Democrats still control by large majorities both houses of Congress. Maybe you should ask them, rather than seeking an answer here.

unclesmrgol on December 17, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Starting immediately, we need to reject the language that has been used to define this bill.

This bill DELAYED A TAX INCREASE, nothing more, while it increased spending a ton. We have been paying at these rates for a long time. Nobody’s income taxes are being cut — they are just not going up. We can’t control the general press, but we can frame the issue better on sites such as this one.

For large estates, this is a massive tax increase. If some fairly well off old folks die between now and the end of the year, you will have to wonder . . .

EconomicNeocon on December 17, 2010 at 4:28 PM

What the hell are you talking about. You can fix 2011 tax rates in 2011, because you dont pay them till 2012.

snoopicus on December 17, 2010 at 3:48 PM

I know math is hard for you, but these tax cuts preserved the rates we’ll be paying this April unless and until the new Congress replaces it with something even better.

Jenfidel on December 17, 2010 at 4:37 PM

What’s the new party choice for citizens who oppose deficit spending?

Bugler on December 18, 2010 at 10:05 AM

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