WASHINGTON — Angry Democrats in the US House of Representatives staged a noisy revolt Thursday against President Barack Obama's year-end tax cut agreement with Republicans, pledging to block a vote unless there are changes to scale back billions ticketed to help the rich. The White House still predicted quick passage.
"If it's take it or leave it, we'll leave it," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, after a closed-door meeting in which rank-and-file Democrats chanted, "Just say no."
Despite the flare-up, the White House expressed confidence the measure would be approved before Congress goes home for the year, and Senate Democratic officials said talks were under way to add tax breaks for the alternative energy industry as a way of building support in the party.
"The deal will get passed," said presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs. There were no predictions to the contrary among senior Democrats on either side of the Capitol.
As announced by Obama on Monday, the deal would extend tax breaks at all income levels that are due to expire on Jan. 1, renew a program of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that is due to lapse within days and implement a one-year cut in Social Security taxes.