News / USA

Republicans Abruptly Put Off Key Tax Vote in US House

Fiscal Cliff BoehnerFiscal Cliff Boehner
x
Fiscal Cliff Boehner
Fiscal Cliff Boehner
Cindy Saine
Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has suffered a major setback in his showdown over taxes and spending with President Barack Obama.  The speaker unexpectedly failed to get the votes he needed from his own Republican lawmakers Thursday to hold a vote on a tax bill he had proposed as an alternative to the tax and spending bill put forward by President Obama. Thursday's developments have thrown efforts to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" even more into chaos.

There was high drama on Capitol Hill Thursday night, as House Speaker John Boehner tried to push through his own alternative tax cut and spending cuts bills to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.  Boehner's spending cuts bill passed by a narrow majority, but he suddenly withdrew plans for a vote on his tax cut bill, citing a "lack of support."  His tax bill would have raised taxes only on the annual incomes of those earning more than $1 million a year.  Boehner left the Capitol without talking to reporters,

Analysts say the tax cut bill would have been symbolic anyway, because Senate Democrats had made clear they would not even bring the measure up for debate.  Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Boehner's bills are going nowhere.

"Until Republicans take up our bill in the House, the one that has passed here, there is nothing to discuss.  We are not taking up any of the things that they are working on over there now," Reid said.
Senate Democrats have already passed a bill that would raise taxes on incomes higher than $250,000, and they say that is the bill they want from Boehner.

Negotiations between Boehner and the president have been suspended for several days.  Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor indicated late Thursday that there will be no more votes in the House until after the Christmas holiday.

Before Thursday's developments, President Obama had rejected Boehner's bills and called on him to come back to the negotiating table before time runs out.

Veteran political analyst Larry Sabato said the current standoff between Speaker Boehner and President Obama reflects a deeper divide in the country.

“This is a reflection of the deep polarization that exists in America and the fact that the two parties really have very little in common.  It’s not just a personal thing between President Obama and Speaker Boehner.  It’s more that they represent two clearly distinct philosophies of government and it’s awfully difficult to compromise your basic principles,” Sabato said.

Throughout the long debate on taxes and spending, Democrats have insisted on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and Republicans have insisted on significant cuts to social programs that Democrats hold dear. Now, with the Christmas holiday and the end of the year approaching, there is no clear path forward for a compromise.  Economists have said the combination of massive tax increases and spending cuts could throw the U.S. economy back into recession.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cranksy from: USA
December 20, 2012 11:40 PM
The Mayan calendar may not foretell an apocalypse, but the Republicans seem hell-bent to set back a recovering economy because of their fealty to their sponsors, the wealthiest Americans, and their sociopathic response to America's minimally compassion social programs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs