From NBC's Luke Russert
In a non-binding vote Thursday, the House Democratic Caucus voted to reject the president's tax compromise.
This is significant in the sense that it shows how many House Democrats are angry about the compromise with Republicans to temporarily extend the cuts for the highest earners, but it is not binding in regards to legislation that goes to the floor.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who controls how legislation comes to the House floor, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today that Democrats need to back the president's deal. appeared to be more supportive than other Democrats of the plan on "MSNBC's Morning Joe."
Here's what Hoyer said:
“The President and the Congress are confronted with an increase in middle class taxes if we continue to have gridlock and no extension of unemployment insurance. Both of those will undermine the economy. The President made a judgment and we’re going to determine whether we’ll make a similar judgment as to whether putting the economy at risk and putting millions of Americans at risk and their homes and their families and surviving or whether we’re going to play a game of political chicken. Unfortunately the Republicans have been prepared to play that game in protecting the wealthiest in our country, we don’t want to put the non wealthy at such risk so we’ll see what we can do.”
But sources tell NBC News that with enough GOP support, there are enough moderate Democrats and rank and file Democrats to reach 218 in the House.
UPDATE: NBC's Chuck Todd reports that House leaders still intend to bring the tax bill up for a vote as long as the Senate passes the legislation.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Hoyer's office sends along this response:
"There is an AP article with a headline claiming that Mr. Hoyer said on Morning Joe this morning that Democrats must accept the tax deal. That is not what he said - we provided the video of the interview earlier, here it is again. He made it clear that he does not want to see middle class tax cuts expire on January 1, and that UI needs to be extended. He noted that he understood the tough spot the President was in because Republicans are not budging. But he said we have to determine "whether we're going to make a similar judgment" and that he hopes changes are made. So clearly not an endorsement."
*** UPDATE 3 *** Here's outgoing Speaker and soon-to-be Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's statement:
“House Democrats share the President's commitment to providing the middle class with a tax cut to grow the economy and create jobs. The House passed a bill last week to provide tax cuts for all Americans but not a bonus tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. The extra tax cut for the top 3 percent does not create jobs and increases the deficit. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from being approved by the Senate.
“In the Caucus today, House Democrats supported a resolution to reject the Senate Republican tax provisions as currently written. 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. Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to create jobs and economic growth, to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and to do this in a fiscally sound way.”