WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS News / AP) — Despite intense White House lobbying, U.S. House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco – who still control the chamber through the end of the year – voted Thursday not to take up the tax cuts “framework” worked out by President Barack Obama and top Congressional Republicans.
“This bill in its current form will not be voted on,” Brendan Daly, spokesman for Pelosi, told CBS News following the closed-door vote.
A House leadership aide told CBS News that the vote in a caucus meeting showed just how upset Democrats were about the agreement. The voice vote was quite lopsided, with reporters being told afterward that only one Democrat voted to support the tax plan.
Prior to Thursday’s vote, 54 House Democrats had written a letter to Pelosi saying they were opposed to the tax deal.
The 54 Democrats, by themselves, would not be enough to block the tax package in the House, depending on how much support it gets from Republicans.
Much of the Democrats criticism focused on a provision that would cut taxes on large estates.
Pelosi said, “That was a bridge too far for many of our members” already upset about Obama’s decision to bow to Republican demands for extending tax cuts on individuals making over $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000.
Pelosi said in a statement that House Democrats shared Obama’s “commitment to providing the middle class with a tax cut to grow the economy and create jobs.” She noted that a House-passed bill, which Republicans blocked in the Senate, did not include “a bonus tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.”
“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,” Pelosi said.
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