With the White House-backed tax-cut deal already under attack from liberal Democrats, a conservative group is warning congressional Republicans that a vote for the compromise would break their "Pledge to America."
“House Republicans will violate the core tenets of their Pledge to America if they vote to support this package,” said Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, in a statement today. “We demand -- as they did in their pledge -- at least three days of public viewing before any vote. The devil will be in the details and Americans deserve to see this package before any votes take place.”
President Obama has been battling members of his own party, who see the deal he worked out with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as a betrayal of principles. Now it appears the plan’s Republican backers could face similar pressure from their right flank.
In September, the GOP rolled out its Pledge to America in anticipation of gaining control of at least one chamber of Congress.
In the document, Republican representatives promise to “give all representatives and citizens at least three days to read the bill before a vote.”
Bozell also criticized the compromise for not making all of the tax cuts permanent -- Obama wants to sunset tax breaks for upper-income earners after two years. The veteran conservative activist, whose group claims 370,000 fans on Facebook, called on Republican congressional leaders to postpone consideration of the tax legislation until next month, when the GOP takes control of the House.
“On balance, the ‘bad’ outweighs the ‘good’ in this deal,” he said. “Never mind the ‘ugly’ sure to come after Reid and Pelosi are through with it. No deal is better than a bad deal. The Republicans will be in a much stronger position in just a few weeks when they can revisit this and get a better deal for the American people.”
On the same day Bozell was calling for Republicans to reject the tax compromise, the plan sparked a mutiny among congressional Democrats who say they won’t vote for the deal unless a planned estate-tax exemption is removed, and today the House Democratic Caucus took a symbolic vote to oppose the deal.
Fifty-four House Democrats also signed a letter today vowing not to support the deal. In the letter, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., criticized the plan for acceding to Republican demands and called it “fiscally irresponsible.”
The Democrats also said the deal is unfair to middle-class Americans and urged Obama not to back down.
Another factor that makes the tax deal unpalatable to some Republicans: its price tag. Extending the tax cuts as outlined in the bipartisan deal would increase the nation's deficit by an estimated $700 billion.