Pelosi Gets Squeezed in the Tax Deal

Flickr/<a href="">The White House</a> (<a href="">Creative Commons</a>)

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Obama’s tax deal appears poised to pass the Senate this week, with a key procedural vote on the bill lined up for Monday afternoon. Major changes to the deal are unlikely at this point, but the liberal revolt against the bill hasn’t shown many signs of subsiding. Caught in the middle is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has quietly supported her caucus’ objections and vowed to make changes to the bill, but who could soon be forced to bring a deal that liberals hate to the House floor. And it looks increasingly likely that minor tweaks are all that Pelosi will be able to get out of the deal. As Politico‘s Mike Allen reported this weekend, Pelosi was single-handedly responsible for putting in the tax credits for clean energy and green jobs that got thrown into the Senate bill at the last minute:

At a House Caucus meeting this week, Vice President Biden and members of the Obama economic team…got an earful from Speaker Pelosi and some of her colleagues about the fact that despite a big push from the V.P., the Republicans had not agreed to put 1603—a popular tax credit for renewable energy and green jobs — into the tax framework. Pelosi called it a “must change.”

The administration urgently got the message to Senators Baucus and Reid that if there was one thing to add to the tax extenders for the House, it was 1603. Baucus and Reid — who had also gotten a earful on 1603 from Senators Cantwell, Feinstein and Boxer—were able to get Republicans to agree to 1603 at the last minute, giving Pelosi a big victory on green jobs—and tangible proof that she had improved at least part of the tax framework that the administration had initially presented the House.

The clean energy sweeteners weren’t enough to quell liberal opposition last week. But though it’s a small win, the change might help preserve Pelosi’s credibility with a Democratic caucus that was divided about whether she should return to her leadership post in the first place.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend