The Tax Cut Deal – Today’s Q’s for O’s WH: 12/9/10

By Jenny Schlesinger

Dec 9, 2010 3:24pm

TAPPER: Speaker Pelosi is actually talking about not even introducing this bill for a vote.  Aren't you worried that — that this isn't going to happen and all the economic catastrophe that you guys are warning about is going to happen?

GIBBS:  I think at the end of the day this will get done.

TAPPER: So you think she's bluffing?

GIBBS:  No, I — I, look, I think that this is a long and winding process and — but I think at the end of the day, members are not going to want to be in their districts, senators are not going to want to be in their districts, when their constituents find out on the 1st of January that their taxes have gone up by several thousand dollars. And I — I continue to believe that when all is said and done, if we don't get something done this year, everyone will I think rightly be blamed for not having gotten something done and we'll find ourselves, quite frankly, in a position where we're not getting the politics out of unemployment insurance for the rest of the year, a payroll tax that I think safe to say most economists — probably almost every economist that doesn't work inside here — didn't think was even in the offing.  And I think that's the — that's the basis for — it's the basis for the economic projections that we've seen increase.

TAPPER:  Considering we've heard the president and other senior advisers on the record and then others off the record, or on background, express frustration or hint at frustration with Congress, with Democratic leaders; President Obama pointed out the other day that he wanted a vote on this before the midterms, and obviously the Democratic leaders didn't deliver; David Axelrod yesterday pointed out that the House couldn't even pass seven months worth of unemployment insurance extensions — this compromise would have 13 months; how personally frustrated is President Obama with the Democratic leaders in Congress considering how difficult they're making this process for him in a deal that he feels is ultimately the only he could have gotten?

GIBBS:  Well, look, I think the president is — and the vice president has certainly been up on Capitol Hill — I think the vice president was — was pleased even after the caucus last night that members came up to him — he told me this — members came up to him agreeing that this was a good agreement. But…

TAPPER:  Then they voted not to support it.

GIBBS:  Well, I think it was a voice vote, and my guess is, if a lot of voices yell one thing, you may not yell the other.  But I think that — look, I don't think we spend a lot of time here thinking about what could have been in September or in — in October or things like that. The president is focused on an agreement that he thinks provides some genuine economic growth and job creation potential, and to ensure that taxes don't go up, even as we understand rightly the frustration of those that this agreement includes stuff that the president has campaigned against, the president has fought against, the president has said over and over again that he opposes. It is — it is — it is that part that makes it compromise. And again, I think at the end of the day the president is — believes that this agreement, the framework we have, will be the basis for what prevents middle-class tax rates from going up on the 1st of January.

TAPPER:  Let me just put a button on this.  Has — has Speaker Pelosi or Leader Reid offered an alternative deal that could get through the Senate?

GIBBS:  Not that I'm aware of.  But I — I would direct you to them.  Not that I have heard, no.

-Jake Tapper

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