House Speaker-designate Rep. John Boehner blasted House Democratic leadership for holding a vote to extend only the Bush-era tax cuts for households earning up to $250,000 annually, calling the vote “chicken crap” and “nonsense.”
“I’m trying to catch my breath so I don’t refer to this maneuver going on today as chicken crap, alright?” Boehner said Thursday. “But this is nonsense.”
Republicans, and a bloc of Democrats, want to see the tax cuts extended for all income brackets and have vowed only to vote for a measure that contains all of them. Boehner did not rule out, however, a compromise that would include an extension of federal unemployment benefits, which expire this week.
In a test vote on setting the rules for debate on the proposal, 30 Democrats defected from leadership and sided with Republicans, although it passed 213-203.
The House is set to vote on the measure Thursday afternoon, but is seen largely as a symbolic move to force Republicans to vote against a bill extending tax cuts for the middle class. All 42 Senate Republicans have vowed to block any legislation until all of the tax cuts are extended.