Lefty Democrats don’t like the president’s tax deal one bit. To assuage their angst, Vice President Biden will drop by the Senate this afternoon. The visit, however, will be to sell the compromise, not to apologize for making a deal — no mea culpa, no hands-clasped beg for forgiveness. In fact, the White House blames congressional Democrats for the turn of events. ABC’s Jake Tapper reports:
The White House has two arguments for what they acknowledge are “frustrated” Democrats:
1) We wanted a fight on these tax cuts, and Congressional Democrats never took up the charge and held a vote;
2) This is a good deal — and we weren’t willing to let taxes go up on middle class Americans, or to deprive the unemployed of insurance benefits, just to prove a political point.
“We wanted a fight, the House didn’t throw a punch,” a senior White House official tells ABC News, pointing out that for months before the 2010 midterm elections, President Obama was making the case against the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans. “The House wouldn’t vote before the Senate, and the Senate was afraid they’d lose a vote on it.”
“It was like the Jets versus Sharks except there weren’t any Jets,” the official said. “Senator Schumer says he wants a fight? He couldn’t hold his caucus together.”
“This isn’t a debate in a lab somewhere,” the official continued. “People’s taxes were going to go up, and then we were going to have a Senate with a slimmer margin and House under Republican control.”