“The House was not consulted during the negotiations that produced this package, and our support cannot be taken for granted now or in the future,” the Arizona Democrat said in a statement. “A vision of America that prioritizes the pocketbooks of the wealthiest two percent at the expense of the other 98 percent is not a vision the voters support, and I believe Democrats need to stand against it at all costs.”
A smattering of House Democrats have backed the package in recent days, and one, Rep. Shelley Berkley urged support for it in the Caucus and urged support for the president.
“I think we have to start talking practically,” the Nevadan said, noting that a big tax hike is imminent and will hit everyone unless a deal goes through. The Bush tax rates will go up on Jan. 1 if they aren’t extended.
She dismissed the resolution as a means for people to vent their frustration, but in the end the Senate is likely going to pass the bill and not allow any amendments. “It means nothing,” she said.
Reid said the Senate could take up the package as early as Thursday but said he’s still talking to Members who feel it’s moving too quickly. “We’ll see what we can do to make sure that people feel they’ve had an opportunity to look at this legislation, to make a considered decision on what should be done with their vote on this very, very important piece of legislation,” Reid said during remarks on the floor.
In terms of future votes, he added, “We’re in a normal situation here in the Senate: a state of flux.”
The White House announced the deal Monday night after negotiating for days with Senate Republicans.
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.