Reversal: “If It’s Take It or Leave It, We’ll Leave It”

That’s what Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett said after the House Dems voted overwhelmingly in an internal meeting to reject the compromise proposal extending the Bush tax cuts that the President has put forward. More from NPR:

The vote derailed what had seemed to be a grudging Democratic movement toward the tax package, and it wasn’t clear how much the deal would need to change for lawmakers to accept it.

Asked what happens next, James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 person in the Democratic leadership, said, “I don’t know. We’ll wait and see.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said talks between Democrats and the White House would continue “in the days ahead” before the tax-cut legislation is considered again.

This stands in contrast to Democratic second-in-command Rep. Steny Hoyer’s earlier statement:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland had said that Democrats had no choice but to accept the tax package even if it includes tax cuts for the rich, because continuing to fight would put cuts for middle- and lower-income people at risk, and jeopardize unemployed workers who badly need jobless benefits.

I guess the rank-and-file think there is a choice, after all. It will be interesting to watch the fallout from this.