The White House on Sunday expressed confidence that Congress will pass the tax-cut compromise negotiated by President Barack Obama and Republican leaders, even as Democratic lawmakers continued to say the president gave in too easily.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he wished the president would play hardball with Republicans right up to News Year's Eve, the day the Bush-era tax cuts expire, insisting on legislation that extends tax cuts only for the middle class. But he didn't expect that to happen.
"I don't see that kind of a willingness to fight that hard, where he will take that kind of a position, and that's what's necessary," Levin said of Obama on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers."
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the House Democrats' chief negotiator in the tax-cut talks, tsaid on "Fox News Sunday" that he thought most people "just believe that on this issue the administration did get out-negotiated."
Still, there was a growing feeling that the compromise would pass, extending tax cuts for the wealthy as well as the middle class for two years in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits and a cut in Social Security taxes.