From CNN's Political Ticker:
Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.
"This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It's as simple as that," said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
"We will continue to try and work with the White House and our Republican colleagues to try and make sure we do something right for the economy and right for jobs, and a balanced package as we go forward," he said.
The vote comes a day after Vice President Biden made clear to House Democrats behind closed doors that the deal would unravel if any changes were made.
"Wow did the [White House] mishandle this," a senior House Democratic Source told CNN. "Breathtaking. Members have major substantive concerns and they should have gently guided people to the finish line."
Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon said: "They said take it or leave it. We left it.
This is a non-binding resolution, but sources say Speaker Pelosi will follow the wishes of the caucus.
According to Roll Call, the vote was "virtually unanimous":
“The House will not take it up in its current form,” Defazio said after the Caucus decision. The voice vote was virtually unanimous, according to DeFazio.
Meanwhile, TPMDC quotes a House source calling it a "vote of no confidence":
A House Democratic aide characterized the rebuke as a "vote of no-confidence" in the package -- a ratification of the anger Dems expressed to Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting yesterday evening about the details of the plan and the fact that House Democrats were closed out of the negotiations.
The vote itself does not scuttle the deal, which most Dems predict will pass with overwhelming support from House Republicans, and a small but significant amount of support from Dems. However, if Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to bring the bill to the floor, the calculus changes dramatically. Thus far, Pelosi has made no indication that she plans to thwart the President.
UPDATE: Here's the statement issued by Pelosi:
House Democrats share the President’s commitment to providing the middle class with a tax cut to grow the economy and create jobs. The House passed a bill last week to provide tax cuts for all Americans but not a bonus tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. The extra tax cut for the top 3 percent does not create jobs and increases the deficit. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from being approved by the Senate.
In the Caucus today, House Democrats supported a resolution to reject the Senate Republican tax provisions as currently written. We will continue discussions with the President and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote.
Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to create jobs and economic growth, to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and to do this in a fiscally sound way.