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Looking to break the "fiscal cliff" gridlock, House Democrats are attempting to use a "discharge petition," a little-known procedural move, to get around Speaker John A. Boehner and force a House vote on extending the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone except individuals making $200,000 and more and couples making $250,000.
Republican leaders struggled Tuesday to contain the backlash from conservatives over the GOP's offer of $800 billion in tax increases to head off the "fiscal cliff" — a move that didn't impress the White House, even as it spawned a rebellion on the right.
Even though the Senate reached a bipartisan deal Thursday about an ethics bill regulating the personal financial activities of lawmakers, that didn't stop House leaders from arguing over how to proceed with the measure in their own chamber this week.
"I'm very cognizant that this is very difficult vote for a lot of colleagues, and I'm not gleeful in twisting that in anymore," he said. "I want to reach a compromise that works for everybody."
Mr. Walz said the petition isn't meant to shame or coerce rank-and-file House Republicans to accept a tax deal against their party leaders' wishes.