Pelosi Floor Speech on Democratic Discharge Petition: ‘Vote on Middle Class Tax Cuts Now’

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the House floor today calling on House Republicans to join House Democrats in signing a discharge petition to bring the Senate-passed middle class tax cuts up for a vote. Below are the Leader’s remarks:


“Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, as we all know, in the course of the election, the President made it very clear that he was supporting the extension of the middle income tax cuts and everyone, 100 percent of the American people, would benefit from it.  One hundred percent of taxpayers, small businesses, wage earners, and the rest.  The Republicans are saying that rather than passing that they want to hold it hostage to giving an additional tax cut to people making over $250,000 a year.  That’s not negotiating.  That’s hostage taking.

“So, today on the floor of the House, the Democrats have proposed a discharge petition, which if it receives 218 signatures – that’s only a couple dozen Republicans joining the Democrats – would automatically come to the floor and I predict, would receive the overwhelming support of the House of Representatives.

“The American people want us to work together.  We are in agreement on this subject.  Why?  Why, my Republican colleagues, can we not vote on something where we have agreement?  Where we have fairness?  That will work to create jobs, to reduce the deficit, and will again, have fairness.  This is the heart of the matter that is holding us here as the public watches – what is this about?  This is about the $250,000 line that the President said in the campaign that he would honor and that this legislation today brings to bear.

“I urge my colleagues – out of 435 Members of the House, we only need a couple dozen Republicans to sign the discharge petition.  Each one of them holds the key to a $2,000 tax cut for the middle class.  Either sign the petition, urge the Speaker to bring the bill to the floor, or explain to your constituents why you do not want them to have this $2,000 tax break if they are – for 100 percent of the American people.  Please sign the discharge petition.  Let’s get this done this week.  We could bring this bill up under unanimous consent – the message would be clear to the American people: we heard you in the campaign, be fair, do something that works, work together.  This gives us that opportunity.

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”

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