Is the Obama-GOP tax deal about to collapse?
Things may be going swimmingly in the US Senate, but not so the House:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not bring President Barack Obama’s current proposed tax plan up for a vote in her chamber, an aide said on Thursday.
The aide said Pelosi would require changes be made to the measure that most of her fellow House Democrats formally opposed by approving a resolution of opposition to it. The aide said: “She (Pelosi) will honor the resolution.”
It’s simple: If the Bush tax cuts are not extended, the US risks falling back into recession next year. At the very least, the markets believe that and will act accordingly. Not to mention what a disaster this would be for the Obama presidency:
The obvious lesson, if the deal collapses, will be that Obama can’t deliver anything – he can be pushed into compromise with GOP priorities, as he wouldn’t before the election, but he can’t bring along his own caucus, which has suffered so many losses for following his lead. Liberals will learn that they are better off striking their own distance from an unpopular and increasingly impotent leader. And heavy liberal opposition to the deal will make it impossible to blame DeMint or Republicans for the collapse, and will encourage conservatives to push for even fewer compromises with Obama in 2011. That calculus of legislative forces will make it hard for Obama to plan for the other leg of the Clinton strategy, a budget battle in which the GOP blinks. Obama can try to use the whole mess to argue that “Washington is broken” and all that, but it’s a hard argument to make from the Rose Garden.
By failing to ensure ahead of time the support of his own caucus, President Obama may have shot himself in the foot in dealing with the Republican-controlled House even before the new majority is sworn in.