The Spectacle Blog

Deal Or No Deal?

By on 12.7.10 | 11:24AM

It's basically been assumed that the deal President Obama struck with Republicans will clear through the Democratic Congress, but can we be so sure that it will, at least without some more tinkering?

Rep. Chris Van Hollen said, “House Democrats have not signed off on this deal.” Sen. Sherrod Brown declared "I'm not at all happy with this. I want to see all the details before I make some kind of commitment." And CNN quotes one Democratic Congressional source as saying, "We won't rubber stamp a deal between the White House and (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell...We want to make it clear. Don't take our support for granted."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Republicans in a blog post for holding "the middle class hostage for provisions that benefit only the wealthiest 3 percent, do not create jobs, and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit." She added that, "We will continue discussions with the President and our Caucus in the days ahead."

It makes sense that Congressional Democrats would have problems with the deal, both from an ideological standpoint and an personal standpoint. Legislators want to feel like they have influence and Democrats are still in the majority for the next few weeks. True, the White House in this instance doesn't need to woo the Sherrod Browns and Anthony Weiners of Congress. Assuming the tax proposal has the support of most Republicans, it can still pass even if a majority of Democrats in both chambers vote against it. So it's important not to read too much into the tantrums liberal Democrats are having right now. That said, Pelosi and Harry Reid are likely angling for some sort of token concession before they bring this up for a vote. If nothing else but to treat bruised egos, because the Democratic president basically ignored them and negotiated a deal with the opposing -- minority -- party.

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