Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced Wednesday that he would vote against the White House's recent tax cuts deal, but admitted that the package would likely pass despite increasingly vocal opposition from House Democrats.
"No, I won't vote for it. I don't think that I should be coerced," Frank told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, before conceding that he was "afraid that it is" going to pass anyways.
"I do not believe that raising the marginal rate from 36 to 39 percent on hundreds-of-thousands of dollars is going to affect their spending patterns," Frank maintained, countering a popular claim by Republicans that allowing taxes on the wealthiest Americans to revert to their pre-Bush rates would damage an already weak economy.
Frank also brought up a common critique of the Senate process, saying that the Democratic caucus in that chamber -- and in the House, for that matter -- had achieved a majority consensus on not extending the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent of Americans, but that Republicans were allowed to trump them because of filibuster rules.
"The Democrats got 53 votes in the Senate, but they got 36," Frank said. "Since when did 36 have more moral authority than 53."
Though pointing to this technicality, which left the White House to pursue what ended up becoming a controversial compromise on the issue, Frank accused the administration of falsely saying that Democratic opponents of the deal were engaging in "political theater."
"We ought to be able to have honest differences of opinion without those kinds of characterizations," Frank said.
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