White House Tries To Sell Tax Deal To Democrats
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DON GONYEA, Host:
We'll soon find out if President Obama was right about a tax bill.
BARACK OBAMA: What I'm saying is that I'm confident that we're going to be able to get this resolved by the end of the month.
GONYEA: He made that forecast on this program last week.
INSKEEP: And we're going to talk about it this morning with NPR's Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays for analysis. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: What argument is the administration making here to move Democrats over to its side?
ROBERTS: Here's his economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think all private forecasters agree, that when they saw this package amounts, you saw them step forward and say that it would significantly raise the growth rate of the United States in the coming year, if we were to pass it
ROBERTS: So the administration is working very hard to sell this deal. And this week, the president is calling in business leaders for a summit meeting and hoping they'll endorse it, as well.
INSKEEP: And as the administration tried to sell this, last week people looked up at the podium in the White House briefing room and there was a familiar, wagging finger behind that podium.
ROBERTS: Yes, that was a great moment in the briefing room when President Obama left former President Clinton there on his own. And President Clinton's stayed there for about half an hour, very much in his element. It's not likely to make that much difference in the votes in the Congress to have President Clinton endorse the deal. But it does show a major and popular Democrat is for it. But I think it was more theatrics than anything else.
INSKEEP: Well, let's talk about some theatrics in Congress and around Congress. Liberal activist groups have been sending out blast email trying to rally support to, maybe not block this deal but at least change it. And Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders protested against it on Friday.
ROBERTS: But, I still think, though, Steve, that they're going to have to swallow hard, vote for it. They're not going to let unemployment benefits run out or taxes go up. So it's just a question of how long they decide to argue about it, as we get close to Christmas.
INSKEEP: And we should mention that Democrats, many of them, keep talking about one little thing perhaps they can change, rather than actually voting against this package. That seems to be their terms.
ROBERTS: But I think that getting changes is going to be very hard to do.
INSKEEP: Okay. Cokie, thanks very much. That's NPR News analyst Cokie Roberts.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.