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Boehner Attacks Democratic Tax Bill

Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday called Democrats’ effort to extend only the middle-class tax cuts “chicken crap” and accused the majority of playing political games with the issue.

The Democratic bill would make permanent the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for the middle class but would allow cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire on Dec. 31. House Republicans argue that all of the tax cuts should be extended.

“I’m trying to catch my breath so I don’t refer to this maneuver that is going on today as chicken crap, all right,” he told reporters. “This is nonsense, all right? The election was one month ago. We are 23 months until the next election, and the political games have already started trying to set up the next election.”

He added, “To roll this vote out today, it really is just … what you would think I was going to say.”

Boehner has revamped his message on the tax-cut issue since receiving heavy criticism for his comments in September on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” On the program, he said, “If the only option I have is to vote for those at $250,000 and below, of course I’m going to do that.”

House Democrats on Thursday said they were not surprised by Boehner’s rhetoric.

Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that while “everybody is entitled to their opinion, this is a vote I’ve been trying to do since September.”

Rep. Mike Capuano agreed.

“We’ve known for a while that they wouldn’t like anything but what they demand,” the Massachusetts Democrat said. While Capuano added that he wished Democrats would have taken the vote before the election, he said he was glad they are moving forward on it now.

“I would argue with some of the details … [but] I think we should still do it,” Capuano said.

Anna Palmer contributed to this report.