Washington – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) predicts that the Obama-McConnell tax deal, which will soon head to the lower chamber, will likely pass, despite numerous concerns in the Democratic caucus.
“The vote in the Senate yesterday, 83-15 . . . (shows) strong support” for moving forward, Hoyer said this morning at a meeting with reporters. There is a “keen sense” among Democrats, he said, that middle-class tax hikes would be harmful to the economy. Still, he noted that the temperature in the caucus remains “pretty cold” about the deal.
House Democrats will huddle tonight to discuss how to proceed in coming days. Hoyer said that he wants to enable his members to make their views known on the floor, but did not specify whether he would send an amended tax bill back to the Senate.
Hoyer brushed off the notion that President Obama needs to come to the House to rally support. The president, he said, has been “clear” about his position and understands the state-of-play in the House.
Turning to the GOP transition, Hoyer praised Speaker-elect John Boehner and House Republicans for presiding over a peaceful transition of power. He said the experience has been “markedly better” than in 1994.
On that note, Hoyer, in good spirits, opened his pen-and-pad session by poking fun at the big crowd of reporters. “What is this? A going-away party?” he laughed.