Rep. Chris Van Hollen, meanwhile, criticized the White House for negotiating poorly by agreeing to an extra cut in the estate tax. Pelosi previously tapped the incoming Budget Committee ranking member to lead House Democrats in negotiations with the White House and Republicans on tax cut extensions.
“That did not have to be part of the deal,” the Maryland Democrat said in an MSNBC interview Wednesday.
“It was made very clear to the administration at every step of this process this was just a bridge too far,” Van Hollen said, adding that he had personally warned the White House against it. “There was no reason this had to be part of the deal.”
Asked whether the bill could pass in its current form this Congress, Van Hollen said, “I think the jury’s out.
“I’m not sure this bill can pass in this form in the House of Representatives.”
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.