Friday, December 17, 2010, AM | Leave Comment
Boston Globe: The House passed an $858 billion package of extended tax cuts and stimulus spending late last night, saving at least hundreds of dollars for nearly all Americans and heralding the first broad bipartisan compromise of the Obama presidency. The 277-to-148 vote was a political victory for President Obama, who made the case for compromise over complaints from the base of the Democratic Party.
Some longtime Obama backers fought the president’s deal late into the night, contending that he had let middle-class America down by not fighting harder to keep a campaign promise: end the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
Instead, the group Obama had to rely on for critical support last night was the one he had spent his first two years battling, Republicans.
The bill, which Obama could sign as early as today, won the support of 139 Democrats and 138 Republicans, but only after Republicans beat back an effort to substantially alter the pact. The Senate endorsed the agreement on Wednesday in a vote of 81 to 19.
But the deal is a bitter pill for some liberals, who have complained the agreement is tilted toward the rich. A number of Republicans also opposed the deal.
In the end, however, most lawmakers looked past their apprehensions and toward Dec. 31, when the tax cuts are scheduled to expire. Had they not acted, tax rates would have gone up for all Americans.