Indeed, many of the details are still emerging, and Democrats were quick to note that a deal is not yet final, casting some amount of doubt on the next steps for the conference committee, which is supposed to meet later today.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) began a morning press conference by hailing an “enormous victory for the American people and clearly an enormous win for the president of the United States” in the payroll deal.
But pressed on details of the agreement, Larson and Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) — a member of the payroll conference committee — expressed lingering reservations, especially on the length of time unemployment insurance is extended to individuals.
“I remember when I was serving on the super committee how we kept on hearing the news that there was a deal. I remember when I was on the Bowles-Simpson commission how we were hearing that we were going to get the two-thirds vote necessary to get the deal. And I hear that we’ve got a deal wrapped up on this payroll tax cut conference,” Becerra said. “I’ve learned to wait until I see the deal to know that there’s a deal. ... We’re still a long ways from getting there.”
Jessica Brady and Jonathan Strong contributed to this report.
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.