House Democratic leaders criticized a compromise on tax cuts outlined Monday by President Barack Obama, but stopped short of saying they would oppose it.
“The Republican demands would provide tax cuts to the millionaires and billionaires, fail to create jobs and increase the deficit,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday. The California Democrat accused the GOP of holding the middle-class hostage. “And to add insult to injury, the Republican estate tax proposal would help only 39,000 of America’s richest families, while adding about $25 billion more to the deficit.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that the deal would be discussed with the Democratic Caucus this evening, and said both Obama and Congressional Democrats were in a difficult position. Either pay the GOP’s ransom demands — tax cuts for upper-income Americans — or let middle-class taxpayers and the economy pay the price in January if all of the tax cuts and unemployment benefits expire.
The Maryland Democrat said there was no consensus or agreement among House Democratic leaders Monday night as they met with Obama on the deal. Obama laid out the framework at a news conference Monday evening after looping Democrats in on its specifics.
Hoyer pointed to polls showing that most Republicans, Democrats and independents do not support extending tax cuts for upper-income Americans.
Those people “don’t believe this is an issue about chicken waste,” Hoyer said, in an apparent reference to Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) calling the Democratic tax cut bill “chicken crap” last week.
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., left, David Goldman, center, and Arvind Chawdra right, attend a news conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on international child abduction. Goldman and Chawdra are fathers whose children were abducted by their mothers and taken abroad.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.