Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.), who led the insurrection among House liberals over the Obama-McConnell tax deal, has now admitted that opposition has now become “academic” and that the bill’s passage in the House is all but assured. The “die is cast,” Welch told The Hill.
Welch also took a not-so-subtle swipe at the White House in his comments:
“It is academic, OK. The bottom line is that it is a fast moving train and that has become clear and Washington is doing what it is finding easy to do,” he said in an interview with The Hill.
“Once the president entered into that agreement with the Senate Republicans even while talks with the House were supposedly under way, that set the tone for the weekend and now you got Americans excited about a trillion dollars that is going to be in effect given away,” Welch said.
[. . .]
“I supported the middle-class tax cut. I voted for it,” Welch said. “I believe that we had a tough bargaining position, and had the president negotiated until the ninth inning instead of the seventh inning, we would have prevailed on that.”
Welch’s comments add to the sense of inevitability of the bill’s passage indicated by Steny Hoyer’s comments below. Through late last week, it looked as though the House Democrats were going to try to send an amended tax bill back to the Senate, likely with a higher estate tax, and then dare Senate GOPers to reject it. Instead, now that it’s clear Democratic leadership will let the bill come to the floor, it looks like it could pass more or less untouched, with a TARP-like agglomeration of Republicans and Democrats voting in favor,with stalwarts left and right opposed.