Obama Signs Tax Deal Into Law: ‘Substantial Victory for Middle-Class’
December 17, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—With the passage of the tax deal in the House late last night in a 277 to 148 vote, President Obama didn’t waste any time signing the measure into law. In a signing ceremony this afternoon, Obama praised his Vice President Joe Biden, as a “champion for the middle class.” He also signaled out Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Senate leaders for doing “what was right for the country, even though it caused occasional political discomfort.” Echoing the prior remarks of Biden, Obama also recognized the value of compromise. And he hailed the tax deal as a “substantial victory for middle-class families across the country.”
Obama thanked the bipartisan group of lawmakers and White House officials who hammered out the compromise deal, that extends the Bush era tax cuts for everyone for two-years, but also extends unemployment for 13-months and contains a package of middle-class tax credits that should stimulate the economy.
“A bipartisan group made up of Senators Baucus and Kyl and Representatives Van Hollen and Camp sat down with — Secretary Geithner is here today and Director Jack Lew of the Office of Management and Budget to begin negotiations in good faith. Leaders like Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Harry Reid, and Mitch, other members who are here together worked to bring this bill across the finish line.”
Reps. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Speaker-Elect John Boehner (R-OH) were not present at the signing ceremony. Whether they were no-shows by design or due to scheduling conflicts is unknown
Obama went on to point out that the middle-class benefits in the tax deal will make a real difference in the lives of many Americans. And for those of you anxiously awaiting to have expired unemployment benefits reinstated, the President said many people will receive their checks before Christmas.
“This is real money that’s going to make a real difference in people’s lives. And I would not have signed this bill if it didn’t include other extensions of relief that were also set to expire -– relief that’s going to help families cover the bills, parents raise their children, students pay for college, and business owners to take the reins of the recovery and propel this economy forward.”
“As soon as I sign this legislation, 2 million Americans looking for work who lost their jobs through no fault of their own can know with certainty that they won’t lose their emergency unemployment insurance at the end of this month. Over the past few weeks, 600,000 Americans have been cut off from that lifeline. But with my signature, states can move quickly to reinstate their benefits –- and we expect that in almost all states, they’ll get them in time for Christmas.”
After signing the bill, Obama shook the hands of the assembled group standing with him, including McConnell, the man who said it was his number one priority to topple Obama’s presidency and make sure he was a one-term president.
Look at the attached photo. I wonder what McConnell and Obama were thinking to themselves when they shook hands?
Although the Democrats in the House revolted over the tax deal and sought to amend the estate tax provisions, they derided as a “giveaway” to the very wealthy that added to the deficit and did nothing to stimulate the economy, in the end the amendment failed to garner enough support to pass and the bill was voted on and passed, as is.
Love it or hate it, there’s no question this compromise tax deal makes President Obama a stronger president. But the hard part will come soon after Republicans take control of the House and start swooning over the deficit that they helped create, and start hacking away at entitlements and stimulative measures. And two-years from now when the Bush era tax cuts expire during a presidential election year, we will have this fight all over again.
The full text of President Obama’s remarks can be found here.
Photo Source: C-Span