News / USA

Republicans Abruptly Put Off Key Tax Vote in US House

Fiscal Cliff BoehnerFiscal Cliff Boehner
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

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs