Taking back the concessions

TAKING BACK THE CONCESSIONS…. As far as some House Democrats are concerned, when it came to the economic stimulus package, Republicans wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer. The GOP wanted tax cuts, and Democrats offered them tax cuts. The GOP howled at some specific spending measures, and Democrats removed them from the legislation. It didn’t affect the outcome.

Amanda Marcotte argued today that House Republicans “can’t be dealt with like reasonable people.” Not surprisingly, some Democrats who did deal with the GOP as if they were reasonable want to reverse the concessions they gave up.

Rank-and-file Congressional Democrats had been willing to give Republicans the business tax cuts and other provisions they wanted in the stimulus. That is, up until every single one voted against the bill on the House floor Wednesday.

Now, in both the House and the Senate, angry members are lobbying Democratic leaders to yank those tax breaks back.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked Thursday by the Huffington Post why the business tax cuts, whose purpose was to garner Republican support, would be left in the bill if no Republicans supported it regardless.

“That’s what my members ask me,” said Pelosi. “It wasn’t something that was suggested [by Democrats]. It was a heavy lift for our members, but they understood that it has a benefit and were willing to support it.”

So far, she said, she has been resistant to removing the cuts from the package. “It’s something that we can live with,” she said. “I can’t answer why they wouldn’t vote for this even though their main net-operating-loss carry-back suggestion was part of the tax cuts.”

Indeed, David Weigel noted that he “literally cannot remember a time when the entire Republican conference in either house voted against tax cuts.”

So, are the business tax breaks going to be yanked from the bill? No, at least not yet. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, “We haven’t reached that point,” he said. “In fact, Republican senators I’ve spoken to today said, ‘Don’t give up on us. We still want to work with you.'”

We’ll see how that goes.