LI pols mixed on Obama tax cut compromiseNewsday
December 8, 2010
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama struggled Tuesday to prevent wholesale defections by fellow Democrats that could sink the tax deal he worked out with Republicans - angry opposition that could subject millions of Americans to a big holiday-season tax increase.
Many GOP lawmakers seemed ready to embrace the Obama-GOP compromise and declare victory.
The question was whether enough Democrats would join them in support, especially in the House, where liberal resentment of the president's concessions on tax breaks for the wealthiest runs strong.
Obama went on national TV with a ringing defense of his compromise, declaring it the necessary price for heading off a tax increase that neither taxpayers nor the weak economy could stand and for gaining more months of unemployment payments for millions of jobless workers.
The plan would extend unemployment benefits for millions of people, and reduce Social Security payroll taxes for a year. Workers would pay a 4.2 percent tax rate instead of 6.2 percent.
Among Long Island House members contacted Tuesday, only Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) expressed support for the compromise. The Democratic members remained noncommital.