House and Senate Democratic leaders huddled with President Barack Obama on Monday afternoon to discuss a proposed deal on extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts for two years — and how best to sell the agreement to rank-and-file Democrats.
The deal includes some key provisions that Democrats will find hard to swallow — including an estate tax and payroll tax provisions — and Obama is expected to make at least one trip to Capitol Hill this week to sell the agreement to rank-and-file Members.
Senate Democratic aides said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), Senate Democratic Caucus Secretary Patty Murray (Wash.), Finance Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) are meeting with Obama at the White House after he returns from a trip to North Carolina.
The meeting will follow a similar briefing for House Democrats between Vice President Joseph Biden and Pelosi, Hoyer, Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.).
According to Democratic aides, Obama and Republicans have agreed to a two-year extension of all of the tax cuts, as well as a one-year extension of unemployment insurance. Other items — such as a package of tax extenders, extension of the estate tax repeal and tax cut provisions in last year’s stimulus bill — are still being worked out.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.