‘Occasional Political Discomfort’ Aside, Obama Signs Tax Bill

By Jared

Dec 17, 2010 5:27pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: “We are here with some good news for the American people this holiday season,” President Obama said from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building this afternoon. Surrounded by Democratic and Republican members of both houses of Congress and members of the administration who helped negotiate the deal, the president signed the tax bill, emphasizing that the “heart” of this bill is a “substantial victory” for the middle class. The president acknowledged the Republican leadership in the Senate and House for their “willingness,” he said, to do what was right for the country, “even though it cause occasional political discomfort.” “By a wide bipartisan margin, both houses of Congress have now passed a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class, that will grow our economy, and will create jobs for the American people.” Giving himself a pat on the back the president said that he “refused” to let the average middle class family pay an extra $3,000 in taxed next year, should this bill not have passed. “That wouldn’t have just been a blow to them; it would have been a blow to our economy, just as we’re climbing out of a devastating recession. I refused to let that happen.  And because we acted, it’s not going to.” The president touted that millions of Americans will “start the new year off right,” by opening up their first paycheck of the year to see that it’s larger than the one they get right now and the 155 million workers that will receive tax relief from the payroll tax cut. “This is real money that’s going to make a real difference in people’s lives.” The president noted the fierce debate over the tax bill and the eventual deal that was struck with Republicans, much to the dismay of many in his own party. “Candidly speaking, there are some elements of this legislation that I don’t like.  There are some elements that members of my party don’t like.  There are some elements that Republicans here today don’t like.  That’s the nature of compromise, yielding on something each of us cares about to move forward on what all of us care about. “The president said that right now both parties care about “growing the American economy and creating jobs for the American people,” and “taken as a whole” that’s what the package of relief, he said, is going to do. “It’s a good deal for the American people.  This is progress. And that’s what they sent us here to achieve.” With a nod to many battles that no doubt lay ahead the president joked that “there will be moments, I’m certain, over the next couple of years in which the holiday spirit won’t be as abundant as it is today.” The president called on both parties to work together through those eventual times. “The final product proves, when we can put aside the partisanship and the political games, when we can put aside what’s good for some of us in favor of what’s good for all of us, we can get a lot done,” he said. And with that the president signed the bill surrounded by Sens. Mitch McConnell, Dick Durbin, Max Baucus and Secretary Timothy Geithner, Secretary Hilda Solis, Director Jack Lew, Rep. Dave Camp, R-MI, Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL, Rep. Rob Andrews, D-NJ and Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-PA. Vice President Biden, who introduced the president, made sure to impress to the audience how much of a big deal this is, amid laugher in the crowd, in a veiled reference to his open microphone moment following the passage of the health care bill in March. “This is — this is — I was going to say big deal, but an important deal. I can no longer say big deal,” Biden joked, “Thank God my mother wasn’t around.” –Sunlen Miller

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