White House, Hill Dems Spar over Tax Deal

by Katrina Trinko

It’s Day 3 of reactions to the Obama-GOP tax compromise, and Democrats do not appear ready to hold hands and sing Kumbaya together anytime soon — and that may be exactly what the White House hoped would happen.

President Obama told reporters this afternoon, according to Politico, that “it is inaccurate to characterize Democrats writ large as feeling, quote-unquote, betrayed. I think the more they look at it, the more of them are going to say, ‘This makes sense.’”

But according to White House insiders, Obama may be hoping Hill Democrats wait a little longer before they agree the deal makes sense. One administration official told Politico that the difference between Obama and Hill Democrats “was a positive byproduct” and that “compared to these guys, the president looks mature and pragmatic.”

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to speak out against the compromise. “Our guys got taken to the cleaners,” vented Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), the chief House Democrat present at the White House’s tax deal discussions, at the House Democratic caucus meeting last night, according to Politico. Seconding him was Rep. Gary Ackerman (D., N.Y.): “I disagree that we didn’t get anything. We got screwed.”

Senate Democrats appear similarly angry. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., Louisiana), while not announcing her vote, said the deal was close to “moral corruptness.” Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) said the compromise wasn’t “in the best interest of our country.”

President Obama, at least publicly (and outside of yesterday’s press conference) appears to be trying to pacify the base. Last night, he released a video to Organizing for America supporters explaining why he felt the compromise was necessary.

It’s expected that Vice President Joe Biden, who met with Senate Democrats yesterday, will meet with House Democrats sometime today.

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