David Axelrod: House Democrats Will 'Come Together' On Tax Deal

Obama advisor calls some concessions 'odious,' but believes deal will pass House

ByRussell Goldman
December 12, 2010, 7:30 AM

Dec. 12, 2010— -- Democrats in the House of Representatives will pass the controversial tax plan President Obama brokered with the GOP leadership, despite their deep reservations, Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod said Sunday on "This Week with Christiane Amanpour."

"I believe there will be a coming together around it," Axelrod said of the plan, which last week prompted a surprise insurrection from House Democrats who refused to take up a vote on the proposal, citing the many concessions it made to Republicans.

Axelrod said Democratic lawmakers would not have an opportunity to further negotiate or change the deal. They will have to agree to the plan hashed out by the President.

"I'm not here to negotiate. We have a framework, we have an agreement. I don't anticipate it's going to change greatly," he said referring to the biggest sticking point in the deal, an extension of the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans and lowering taxes on inherited income -- the estate tax.

"I think we're going to get strong support on both sides of the aisle. I respect people who are unhappy. We share their view on upper-income tax cuts and the estate tax that was a part of the deal, odious as it may be, in order to get all the good things that come with it. That's the nature of compromise."

He said there were enough elements of the deal to bring Democrats on board when it came time to vote.

"I think every single person in that building does not want taxes to go up on January 1, does not want to see 2 million people lose their unemployment insurance. Everybody understands what the implications for the economy would be… if that package doesn't move forward," he said.

The proposed package would extend the Bush tax cuts across incomes, extend benefits to the unemployed and cut payroll taxes. Some Democrats also said that the plan would add $700 billion to the national debt.

Axelrod argued that the proposal would extend unemployment insurance and spur middle-class Americans and small businesses to spend, which would energizing the economy.

The deal will "put money in the pockets of middle class people," he said.

Axelrod said the deal did not contradict promises President Obama made during the campaign not to extend the Bush cuts for the wealthy, because the extension would only be "temporary" and not "permanent."

The Senate is expected to vote on the proposal this week.

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