Democrats are claiming the 2012 elections gave them a mandate to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000, while House Republicans are arguing Americans kept them in power in the House to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone. This has put both sides at even more of an impasse in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Friday said negotiations between Republicans and the White House were at a “stalemate” a day after the White House proposed a plan to avert the fiscal cliff that Boehner said “was not a serious proposal.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said on Friday that Democrats on Tuesday will circulate a discharge petition to force a House vote to extend current tax rates only on those making below $250,000.
Pelosi and Democrats would need 218 signatures for the petition to force the legislation to the House floor, which means they would need more than 20 Republicans to support the discharge petition. According to The Hill, that seems unlikely, even though some prominent House Republicans like Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) have said he would be in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts solely for those making less than $250,000.
“We're calling upon the Republican leadership in the House to bring this legislation to the floor next week,” Pelosi said. "If there's no announcement of scheduling of the middle-income tax cut,” she added, “then on Tuesday we will be introducing a discharge petition."
Pelosi's tactics represent the impasse the two sides are in after the White House's initial offer to avert the fiscal cliff.
“There’s a stalemate. Let’s not kid ourselves,” Boehner said. “Right now, we’re almost nowhere.
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner delivered the White House’s plan to Republican leaders. The plan included giving President Barack Obama unprecedented powers to raise the debt ceiling whenever he wanted without Congressional approval, in addition to $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in proposed spending cuts, and at least $50 billion a year in new multi-year stimulus projects.
According to The Hill, Boehner also criticized the White House for waiting three weeks after the election to make its first offer.