By WGBH News
Dec. 16, 2010
BOSTON — On Thursday afternoon, Congressional liberals used a procedural snag to delay a final vote on the Obama-GOP tax compromise that will extend Bush-era tax cuts (among other things) in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits. Many House Democrats, including Rep. Mike Capuano, are taking a moral stand against the cuts, which they say concede too much to Republicans.
For Rep. Bill Delahunt, the final vote on that package will be one of his last -- the 14-year representative from the 10th District is retiring that the end of this term. And he says that when it's time for the vote, he'll support the bill without conditions or amendments.
Delahunt told WGBH’s Emily Rooney he felt supporting the package was matter of conscience, since it was the only way to extend unemployment benefits – which Republican senators has refused to support unless tax cuts were extended, too.
“There’s no way, in my view, that morally we could allow 4 million citizens and their families have to deal with no money coming in whatsoever,” Delahunt said.
Delahunt admitted he doesn’t love the deal. “I would have much preferred that this package restored the tax rates that existed under President Clinton, for those whose income exceeded $250,000.”
But after 14 years in Congress, Delahunt is used to compromise. That sensibility helped earn him what he said is one of his proudest achievements during his tenure: inclusion on a Republican list of the most bi-partisan Democrats.
Leaving his job means he’ll also leave his Washington, D.C. digs: A cot in the famously grubby apartment he shares with Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. George Miller.
“I won’t miss waking up in the morning and Chuck Schumer walking around without any clothes on,” Delahunt joked.
WGBH'S Jess Bidgood wrote this report.