By a decisive margin, the House failed to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder for Congress to raise taxes.
The amendment, which would require a two-thirds vote of Congress for any tax increases, mustered 233 votes in favor to 190 against, 49 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed.
It was the second year the House failed to pass the bill on the tax filing deadline day. And last year it fell only 37 votes short.
Democrats denounced the amendment as a “gimmick” timed solely for media coverage on the tax deadline day and said it would damage the budget process.
Rep. Joe Moakley, D-Mass., observed the amendment was being debated even though the GOP was routinely waiving a similar requirement made in House rules two years ago that requires a three-fifths vote for any measure containing a federal income tax hike.
The GOP has waived the rule several times for legislation on Medicare premiums, earned income tax credits, tax breaks and other sensitive issues, he said.
Republicans countered that core principles were at stake.
“This isn’t only about keeping a lid on the taxes that American people pay, it’s about shrinking the size and power of the federal government,” said Rep. Thomas DeLay, R-Texas.
xxxx Roll call How Idaho and Washington representatives voted: IDAHO Republicans - Chenoweth, yes; Crapo, yes. WASHINGTON Republicans - Dunn, yes; Hastings, yes; Metcalf, yes; Nethercutt, yes; Smith, Linda, yes; White, yes. Democrats - Dicks, no; McDermott, no; Smith, Adam, no.
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