Obama tells lawmakers not passing tax deal could end presidency, Dem says

In urging lawmakers to vote for his tax deal, President Obama is using one of his go-to lines from the healthcare debate, according to a Democratic lawmaker.

Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said.

"The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls, the president is making phone calls saying this is the end of his presidency if he doesn't get this bad deal," he told CNN's Eliot Spitzer. 

But the White House shot back late on Wednesday.

"The president hasn’t said anything remotely like that and has never spoken with Mr. DeFazio about the issue," said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Obama's push shows that the president is going to the mat in order to push through Congress the compromise brokered with Republicans.

During the end of the healthcare debate, Obama reportedly told Democrats upset that the bill did not contain a public healthcare option that not passing it could put his presidency on the line and stall the liberal agenda for decades.

The White House has been aggressively selling the deal, which includes a two-year extension of all the expiring Bush tax cuts in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, to skeptical lawmakers and the public.

The Senate passed the $853 billion legislation by an overwhelming 81-19 margin, sending it to the House.

Though House liberals and some conservatives have voiced opposition to the deal, some opponents have conceded that the likelihood of the deal failing at this juncture is very low.

Still, DeFazio has not been sold.

"I don't feel that way — I think this is potentially the end of his possibility of being reelected if he gets this deal," he said.

Updated 7:11 p.m. and 7:52 p.m. Sam Youngman contributed to this story.

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