White House backs change to tax deal

The addition of the credits is a key concession to liberals and is seen as helping the measure's passage through the Senate. Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) are among those who could back the deal with the additional provisions.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs described as "important" the ethanol tax credits and an extension of a cash grant program for renewable energy companies, which were added by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to the tax-cut framework. 

"Well, look, again, I — as you mentioned, $3 billion for a one-year extension of the energy production tax credits was added into the legislation last evening," he told reporters off-camera at the White House. "Obviously, it had been a priority of ours and a priority of Democrats on Capitol Hill."

A Senate GOP aide emphasized that the energy tax credits were discussed during negotiations with the White House.

Gibbs cautioned, however, that the White House does not want major, fundamental changes to the compromise plan. 

"I think the administration continues to believe that, and as you heard, I think, the president say on NPR that he was confident that the framework — the framework is going to look like the one we put forward in terms of what gets voted on," he said. "Again, as we've said earlier and even yesterday: If there are changes that can be made that everybody signs onto, that's great. But I think we have, certainly for the Senate vote, a framework of what's going to move forward."

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