Liberal Welch Surrendering in Fight Over Tax Deal

Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 04:51 PM

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A liberal in the U.S. House is throwing in the towel in the fight he had promised to resist President Barack Obama’s compromise with Republicans on the Bush tax cuts and unemployment benefits, according to a report at TheHill.com. The “die is cast,” The Hill quotes Rep. Peter Welch as saying.

Just a week ago, the Vermont Democrat circulated a letter that 54 party colleagues signed opposing the deal. Now, he said during an interview with The Hill, “It is academic, OK. The bottom line is that it is a fast moving train and that has become clear and Washington is doing what it is finding easy to do.

“Once the president entered into that agreement with the Senate Republicans even while talks with the House were supposedly under way, that set the tone for the weekend and now you got Americans excited about a trillion dollars that is going to be in effect given away,” Welch said.

Momentum for the compromise has built since last week. Former President Bill Clinton endorsed the plan after meeting with Obama Friday. Public opinion has shifted to favor it, and the Senate passed the bill Monday.

That compromise would extend individual tax rates President George Bush signed into law in 2001 and 2003, as well as a 35 percent individual inheritance tax that exempts estates worth $5 million or less.

Welch said he still doesn't think it is responsible to move forward with the package but he sees little chance of beating it.

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