Blue Dogs Ask Pelosi For No 'Delay' Or Changes To 'Essential' Tax Deal
WASHINGTON -- A major swath of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog caucus has written a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for neither "delay" nor changes to the "essential" deal struck by President Obama and congressional Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts.
The letter was passed to The Huffington Post by a somewhat distressed aide, who noted that somewhere between 27 and 31 members have signed on already. It reads as follows:
With the Senate's overwhelming bipartisan vote in favor of The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, we write to request that the House promptly schedule this essential economic measure for a vote and act to send it directly to the president's desk without delay.
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act embodies priorities from both Democrats and Republicans, and allows us to move forward in providing tax relief and economic assistance to millions of Americans. This bipartisan compromise is by design a temporary measure and, with its passage, we must acknowledge that our work is not done. We must continue to work together in a bipartisan fashion - with a sense of shared responsibility - toward solutions that address our economic and fiscal challenges.
It is time for us to put aside the partisan talking points and accomplish what the American people sent us here to do. We stand ready to work with you to see that The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act passes the House and is signed into law.
That only half (or slightly more) of the 54 members of the Blue Dog caucus signed the letter is, in a way, a reflection of how the debate over the tax deal struck by Obama has splintered all facets of the Democratic House. And yet, for proponents of the deal, it's more than promising. Should Republicans congressmembers support the bill en masse it would only need 39 Democratic votes for passage.
On Tuesday, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) -- one of the deal's chief critics -- summarize the sentiment beginning to prevail throughout the caucus when he told The Hill: "It is academic, OK. The bottom line is that it is a fast moving train and that has become clear and Washington is doing what it is finding easy to do."