Here's how John Boehner's spokesman is responding to the Democratic plan to vote on extending middle-income tax cuts:
Michael Steel, a spokesman for John Boehner, emails a response to the news that House Dems are planning to hold a vote just on extending the middle class tax cuts:
"The last thing our economy needs right now is a massive tax hike on families and small businesses -- and that's what this plan would mean."
So their big comeback is that cutting taxes on every American is actually a massive tax hike. I certainly wouldn't have expected them to say anything less, but really, this is pretty much a ho-hum response. It doesn't necessarily prove that Republicans are about to blink, but it also isn't a line in the sand sort of response -- Steel didn't say there's no way in hell Republicans would vote for middle-class tax cuts unless upper-income cuts were passed as well.
Meanwhile, back on the other side of the aisle, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid all met today to chart the path forward on tax cuts. (As you know, Republicans had been encouraged to attend the meeting, but declined, due to "scheduling conflicts.")
After the meeting, Pelosi confirmed to a reporter that Democrats in the House will vote on extending middle-income tax cuts without extending upper-income cuts. And according to Politico's Glenn Thrush, Reid is developing a plan to get tax cuts passed in the Senate, where he may face more pressure to reach a compromise.
It would be foolish to claim victory at this point, but after a dreadful week of backsliding, today things seem to be turning around. Instead of looking for ways to cave, Democrats are looking for ways to do what they promised to do when they were elected. Maybe the GOP shouldn't have blown off the "Slurpee summit" after all.