Obama Urges House to ‘Act Quickly’ on Tax Deal

Posted December 13, 2010 at 5:02pm

President Barack Obama on Monday night urged the House to “act quickly” to pass a $858 billion tax package shortly after the Senate moved one step closer to final passage.

Obama acknowledged that many liberal Democrats — as well as some conservative Republicans — are opposed to the plan. But he argued that the proposal has benefits that outweigh those concerns.

“I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package, and I understand those concerns,” Obama said. “I share some of them. But that’s the nature of compromise: sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us.”

The president’s short remarks in the White House briefing room came after it became clear that the Senate had mustered the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture, or limit debate, on the compromise plan. The Senate is expected to approve the plan Tuesday.

Obama said the Senate vote “proves that both parties can, in fact, work together” to grow the economy and create jobs.

“Nearly every economist agrees that that is what this package will do,” the president said.

The 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year. The deal would extend those tax cuts for two years.

“If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s the urgent work of protecting middle-class families, removing uncertainties for America’s businesses and giving our economy a boost as we head into the new year,” Obama said.