How Will the House Proceed on Tax Cut Discussions?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosei (D-Ca.) with Rep. George Miller (D-Ca.) in the background (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosei (D-Ca.) with Rep. George Miller (D-Ca.) in the background (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The House Democratic leadership team and the inner-circle of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are now huddled in her office, trying to figure out the next move.

There are differing schools of thought as to how they may proceed.

According to a leadership aide, this "play" is unfolding as it should, with everyone playing their assigned roles. Democrats jumping mad about the deal. GOP embracing it. But the $64,000 question is do they have the votes. And is this the only vehicle with which to move a so-called "middle class tax cut" before rates go up at the end of the year.

It's thought that almost all Republicans would vote for the "deal." And Blue Dogs may throw their caution to the wind about deficit spending because they have "cover" from Republicans. So this gives the House a route to get to 218 votes, which is what's necessary to approve the bill.

However, many wonder how "real" Pelosi's demand is for more negotiations. And if she wants her last act as Speaker to be for approving a renewal of President Bush's tax cuts.

Nonetheless, key figures in Pelosi's inner circle are staking out positions.

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Pelosi's closest confidante and one of the most liberal members of the House, says he's "not happy with the upper income tax provision." Miller says he could vote for the pact "if they take it out."

Meantime, the House Democrats' main negotiator in the White House talks, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), focused his fire on Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and the estate tax provision.

"Sen Kyl was able to jam the START treaty debate to get a $68 billion bonanza for the wealthiest estates in the country," Van Hollen said.

More blood-letting tonight at the House Democratic caucus meeting.