The House Democratic caucus voted today to reject the Obama-McConnell tax deal. From Sam Stein:
In a meeting on Thursday morning, the House Democratic caucus rejected the president’s proposed deal on the Bush tax cuts but did not fully submarine the possibility of its passage, multiple sources tell The Huffington Post.
Members, by voice vote, passed a motion to reject the deal as currently written. The motion had been put forward by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) and was seconded, informally, by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.).
Now, if our political parties functioned like most representative democracies and the House of Representatives was somehow a co-equal branch of the government, this would be a really big deal. The Speaker wouldn’t defy her party by bringing it to a vote, so this deal would need to be changed to win support of this co-equal chamber.
Of course, after watching almost the entire Democratic Party over the past two years allow Senate Republicans to turn Congress into essentially a unicameral legislature through their abuse of the filibuster, I know this is not the case. The House has become the body politic’s appendix, serving as nothing more than a vestigial chamber.
Over the past two years, House Democrats refused to exercise their constitutionally prescribed authority, so everyone is right to doubt this vote will actually mean anything.