ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Russell Goldman report:
The White House took a victory lap on the House’s midnight passage of the tax deal, and is “cautiously optimistic” that the lame-duck session will end in similar successes on the START treaty and repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
"We got a better deal than the other side,” spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday about the tax deal that the president hashed out with the Republican leadership earlier this month.
The president is expected to sign the deal in a public ceremony later this afternoon.
Calling the vote a “big win for the President,” Gibbs said it was a “good agreement for Democrats” and a “good agreement for the economy”
The deal, initially met with opposition from House Democrats, was passed with more Democrats voting in favor of it than against it, because, he said, the deal is “a very good agreement for the People who Democrats care most about.”
Gibbs sloughed off criticism that the president was meeting today with labor leaders and pushing for a repeal of the military’s ban on gays serving openly as a way of placating his liberal base following the tax deal.
Gibbs said he expected passage of the repeal on “don’t ask, don’t tell” and on START before Congress ends its session for the year.
Despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D- Nev., decision to put off debate on the administration’s omnibus spending bill fearing a Republican filibuster, Gibbs was upbeat on the president’s overall successes during the lame-duck.
Gibbs said the president supported a one-year continuing resolution in the wake of the failed omnibus bill.
“I think that would be preferable in terms of certainty and continuity,” he said of the resolution.
Gibbs also said if the omnibus came to a vote, the president would prefer a “bill without earmarks.”
The spokesman deflected a question on the lack of White House support for a failed bill that would have extended health benefits to 9/11 workers.
Gibbs lumped the bill in with proposed legislation on “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the DREAM Act, and said the “the White House is supportive of all those pieces of legislation.”
Pushed on why the White House had not more vocally supported the bill for first responders in the past, he said the White house “hadn’t been asked.”
–Jake Tapper & Russell Goldman