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Nancy Pelosi speaks during a visit by U.S. Representatives discussing bilateral relationships between Egypt and the U.S., in Cairo March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS)
Nancy Pelosi keeps the pressure on Boehner.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is keeping the pressure on House Republicans. Last week she announced she was considering introducing a discharge petition that would force House leadership to take up the extension of tax cuts for the middle class that the Senate passed last July. On Sunday, she reiterated that House Democrats are ready to do it.
"If Speaker Boehner refuses to schedule this widely-supported bill for a vote, Democrats will introduce a discharge petition to automatically bring to the floor the Senate-passed middle class tax cuts," Pelosi said in a statement.
Under a "discharge petition," a bill can be brought to the floor without going through a committee or without approval of House leadership. The bill would need an absolute majority - 218 votes - to pass.

While there are only 192 Democrats in the House, some Republicans have expressed support for the bill.

That ups the game of chicken Democrats are having with House Speaker John Boehner. If that bill were to pass, the need for a grand bargain to avert the end of the year tax hikes and spending cuts would be greatly reduced, at least in political terms. That'd be bad news for Boehner, who's trying to extract as much as possible out of a deal. But this vote could be great news for individual Republicans who will have voted to protect the middle class. It's a chance for Democrats to exploit any fissures in the GOP and keep the pressure on Boehner to capitulate on taxes.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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