President Barack Obama has struck a deal with Republicans, extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts across the board (including for the rich). That leaves Vice President Joe Biden with the unsavory task of having to sell the idea to his old Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate, writes The New York Times. It won’t be easy. Many Dems in both houses are fuming at the idea of continuing the cuts for two years (essentially pushing the issue into the presidential election cycle) because the $900 billion that would otherwise be collected could be used to reduce the deficit.
Obama needs 18 Senate Democrats to overcome a possible filibuster, but he can’t count on Mark Udall. The Colorado Democratic senator issued a stern statement on Tuesday: “Just last week, a bipartisan group appointed by the president called our national debt a ‘cancer’ that is threatening our country from within. As I’ve said for many years, our looming debt is perhaps the greatest challenge to our economy and our national security” (via the Fort Collins Coloradoan). Colorado’s junior senator, Michael Bennet, is reviewing the proposal.