The president knows there is no reason whatsoever for Republicans to not back a bill keeping tax cuts for middle income Americans. So, they can either reach a deal now, to avoid the cliff, or, with the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, there will be a Senate bill that keeps taxes where they are for the middle class and extends unemployment insurance.
After a White House meeting with congressional leaders, Obama held a news conference to issue a tough ultimatum to Congress: reach a deal now or block my middle class tax cut in the new year.
“So if we don’t see an agreement between the two leaders in the Senate,” the president said, “I expect a bill to go on the floor — and I’ve asked Senator Reid to do this — put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don’t go up, that unemployment insurance is still available for 2 million people and lays the groundwork then for additional deficit reduction and economic growth steps.”
Here’s how that threat would play out. Taxes will automatically go up on all income earners next week if a deal isn’t struck. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will put forth legislation to bring taxes back down for middle incomes. That’ll leave Senate Republicans with a choice: either let it move forward and pass, or go on record filibustering a middle class tax cut as the nation watches. Both bad choices.