After leaving the door open for the possibility of a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts before Election Day, the House of Representatives instead narrowly voted 210-209 to adjourn.
That leaves the question of the tax cut extension for a lame duck session.
But don’t think the issue’s dead until then. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, threw down the gauntlet prior to the vote, casting it as a referendum on the tax cuts.
Expect, then, to hear more about this over the next few weeks leading up to Nov. 2.
So how did our congressmen vote?
Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican, voted against adjournment.
Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello, a Democrat, also voted against adjournment. So did his fellow freshmen Democrats Gerry Connolly and Glenn Nye, who aren’t from our coverage area but do represent districts in Virginia.
Ninth District Congressman Rick Boucher, also a Democrat, voted in favor of adjournment. Considering the closeness of the vote, expect to hear about this quite a bit over the next few weeks.
In fact, Boucher’s opponent, Republican Morgan Griffith, issued a statement just a few minutes ago. It follows below the fold:
|Why is Congress leaving early? -Ask Boucher whose deciding vote 210-209 adjourned with impending tax increase-|
CHRISTIANSBURG _ Morgan Griffith, the Republican candidate for the Ninth Congressional seat, is concerned about Congress’s plan to close its doors abruptly this week, and not come back into session until after the November election. And guess who made a vote to send Congress to adjournment-Griffith’s opponent-Congressman Rick Boucher.
“Is Congress doing its job? Why is Boucher and his colleagues going fishing and leaving without making a decision on budget issues”, says Griffith. “There seems no sense of urgency. We’re going to start the new Fiscal Year without a budget, and it was Boucher who sent them home early with his vote. (210 to 209).”
“Congress is punting, and not dealing with a federal spending plan,” says Griffith. “They did not deal with an extension of Bush-era tax cuts which expire at the end of 2010, thus raising taxes on millions of Americans. And why wouldn’t Boucher push for a vote on the extension. He says he supports the idea, but would not stand up today and demand a vote be taken before adjournment. Instead, he decided the opposite.”
Griffith says Boucher and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi care too much about perceptions, and how it could affect them in the upcoming election. “This is just another reason why we need to change things in Washington. The public is seeing the fact that Congress is unable to get vital work done.”
The Republican also used the opportunity to say since Boucher has more time on his hands–he needs to debate. “In the past, he has said he was too busy but now he has two weeks with time on his hands. I say let’s debate the issues.”