Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz, leading an effort to force a U.S. House vote on extending the Bush-era tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income, called on House Speaker John Boehner Friday to keep negotiating with President Obama.
“We still have to find a solution,” Walz said. “I refuse to believe we cannot do it.”
Walz was one of only two Minnesotans in Congress to talk publicly Friday about Boehner’s failed attempt to vote on so-called “Plan B” legislation.
The other one was Democrat Keith Ellison, who issued a statement saying, “Instead of Plan A—a bipartisan agreement with the President—Speaker Boehner tried to bring a Tea Party wish list to the floor last night known as ‘Plan B.’”
Walz and Ellison, however, represent two different sides of the Democratic coin. Walz said Democrats will have to consider reforms to federal health and retirement plans as part of a larger deal on new taxes and spending cuts. Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has ruled out voting for any benefit cuts.
Walz, however, said Republicans have not shown much willingness to negotiate, no matter how much centrist Democrats are willing to bend. “It’s become obvious it doesn’t matter what we said,” Walz told Minnesota reporters Friday. “I could have proposed a trillion-to-one on revenue to cuts, and they still would have rejected it. This is ideological rigidness.”
Meanwhile, Minnesota Republicans in Congress stayed mum on the Plan B debacle, which has raised questions about Boehner’s speakership. But departing one-term Rep. Chip Cravaack said early Thursday he was prepared to vote against the Plan B proposal unless it was paired with significant cuts on the spending side.
Alas, the Plan B vote was cancelled for lack of support from Republicans.
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