House Democrats haven't met formally to discuss the "framework" for a tax-cut package President Obama announced he agreed to with Republicans last night, but they are already against it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced over Twitter that the package is a loser with the Democratic Caucus. The compromise proposals, Pelosi stated in her tweet, "help only wealthiest 3 percent, don't create jobs and add tens of billions to deficit."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) also told reporters Tuesday at his weekly press briefing that there was no consensus or agreement yet from Democrats on the package, and though he didn’t criticize it directly, Hoyer said, "The Republicans are obviously holding middle-income tax cuts hostage ... I think that's inappropriate."
The House passed a bill last week to extend tax relief to middle-class families earning less than $250,000, but it failed in the Senate. Senate Democrats also joined Republicans over the weekend in killing a Democratic compromise that would have provided continued tax cuts to those earning up to $1 million, but no more. Democrats are on the record, and everybody has had their say. They just don't have the votes.
Democrats are furious with President Obama for "caving" to Republicans on tax relief. And he probably didn't have to come out and announce something without talking to them first. But Democrats should ask themselves this question: If House Democrats wouldn't vote on the tax-cut question this fall because they were protecting their vulnerable members, and vulnerable Senate Democrats are voting with Republicans now because they are trying to win reelection in 2012, what choice did President Obama have but to compromise with the GOP?

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