31 Dems To Pelosi: Extend The Bush Tax Cuts For Everyone!

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

Democratic pollsters say keeping the tax cuts for just the middle class is the winning issue for the fall midterms, but at least 31 House Democrats are having none of it.

The ongoing struggle within the party has taken the focus off Minority Leader John Boehner’s weekend tax gaffe, but also presents a real problem for the Democratic leadership which believes they must get a legislative victory on this to retain Congressional control.As TPMDC laid out earlier, Democrats wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for an extension of all the Bush tax cuts, including those for the rich. Pelosi has made clear she favors keeping them for the middle class, especially since she considers it a “black and white” issue that will help her party during the election season.

“In recent weeks, we have heard from a diverse spectrum of economists, small business owners, and families who have voiced concerns that raising any taxes right now could negatively impact economic growth,” 31 Democrats write in the letter, pushed by Rep. Melissa Bean (IL).

“Given the continued fragility of our economy and slow pace of recovery, we share their concerns,” the group wrote. “We believe in times of economic recovery it makes good sense to maintain things as they are in the short term.”

A leadership aide told TPM in an interview that most of the party’s leaders consider Bean’s coalition “rather small.” There was a caucus and whip meeting scheduled for today where tax cuts might be raised again. The aide called it “a complex issue not just technically, but politically.”

The signers are:

Rep. Jim Matheson (UT)
Rep. Gary Peters (MI)
Rep. Melissa Bean (IL)
Rep. Glenn Nye (VA)
Rep. Michael McMahon (NY)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN)
Rep. John Salazar (CO)
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN)
Rep. Dan Boren (OK) (corrected)
Rep. Jim Himes (CT)
Rep. John Barrow (GA)
Rep. Ron Klein (FL)
Rep. Zack Space (OH)
Rep. Jason Altmire (PA)
Rep. Allen Boyd (FL)
Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN)
Rep. Jim Cooper (TN)
Rep. Frank Kratovil (MD)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND)
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Rep. Jim Marshall (GA)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (SD)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA)
Rep. Mike Ross (AR)
Rep. Rick Boucher (VA)
Rep. Harry Teague (NM)
Rep. Travis Childers (MS)
Rep. Walt Minnick (ID)
Rep. Harry Mitchell (AZ)
Rep. Jim Costa (CA)

Read the letter here.

Marshall had already written to Pelosi previously, telling her in three sentences that he won’t support increasing taxes during a recession.

“I write to make my support for extending the ‘Bush tax cuts’ clear,” Marshall wrote.

Check out our coverage of this issue in full here.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Harrison and Jon Terbush

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