Obama facing tough sell in own party on tax deal

  • President Barack Obama makes a statement regarding the ongoing tax deal negotiation with Congress, during his meeting with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski,Wednesday, Dec., 8, 2010, in Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected claims that he betrayed Democrats by cutting a deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts and implored his party to back the compromise, arguing it could jump-start the economy.

Speaking to reporters at a joint appearance with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Obama said economists predict higher job growth in 2011 and 2012 if Congress passes the agreement and urged lawmakers to examine the details of the deal and "get this done."

The White House has been leaning hard on fellow Democrats to support the tax deal that would extend the cuts at all income levels for two years, extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and cut the Social Security payroll tax for a year.

But House Democratic leaders protest that the overall package gives up too much to the wealthy. They're putting Obama on the defensive, even as the deal picks up support among GOP lawmakers and business groups.

The president forcefully rejected suggestions he had abandoned his allies to strike an agreement with the GOP.

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