Research

Democrats Put Obama In The Friend Zone

Obama Is Looking For Some Love For His Second Stimulus But Democrats Would Prefer To Just Stay Friends

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “At A Time When The Campaign, The Obama Campaign, Is Desperate To Have Him Seen As A Tough Leader Again, You Don’t Want To Get Rolled By Your Own Party.” (MSNBC’s, “Morning Joe,” 9/15/11)

WITH A SHOCKING AMOUNT OF OPPOSITION TO OBAMA’S BILL IN HIS OWN PARTY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER REID HAS NO PLANS TO PASS THE BILL “RIGHT NOW”

Despite Obama’s Calls To Pass The Bill “Right Now,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) “Will Almost Certainly Will Push The Bill … Until After His Chamber’s Recess At The End Of The Month.” “Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has said he will put the bill on the legislative calendar but has declined to say when. He almost certainly will push the bill — which Mr. Obama urged Congress to pass ‘right now!’ — until after his chamber’s recess at the end of the month; Mr. Reid has set votes on disaster aid, extensions for the Federal Aviation Administration and a short-term spending plan ahead of the jobs bill.” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

  • Sen. Reid: “I Don’t Know Exactly What I’m Going to Do Yet With The President’s Jobs Bill.” “‘I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do yet with the president’s jobs bill, but we’re going to have a full caucus meeting on it on Thurs,’ Reid told reporters, saying merely that he had introduced the bill Tuesday. A number of Democrats have previously opposed some of the ideas in the bill. When asked if he had the votes to pass the legislation as is, the leader said only, ‘We’ll see probably at later time.’” (Trish Turner, “Reid Not Sure If Obama’s Bill Can Pass,” Fox News, 9/13/11)

“Many Congressional Democrats … Say There Is Little Chance They Will Be Able To Support The Bill As A Single Entity, Citing An Array Of Elements They Cannot Abide.” “President Obama anticipated Republican resistance to his jobs program, but he is now meeting increasing pushback from his own party. Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide.” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

  • Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA): “I Think The American People Are Very Skeptical Of Big Pieces Of Legislation … For That Reason Alone I Think We Should Break It Up.” “‘I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation,’ Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said in an interview Wednesday, joining a growing chorus of Democrats who prefer an à la carte version of the bill despite White House resistance to that approach. ‘For that reason alone I think we should break it up.’” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA): “I Don’t Think Anybody Expects It To Pass En Bloc.” “Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect President Obama’s jobs proposal to pass Congress all in one piece. ‘I don’t think anybody expects it to pass en bloc,’ Kerry told reporters Tuesday afternoon after the Senate Democrats’s weekly policy luncheon. ‘So, the issue is going to be what, if any, parts of it might be cherry-picked. And really that depends a lot on the overall mix of the negotiation.’” (Felicia Sonmez, “Obama Jobs Proposal Won’t Pass In One Piece, Kerry Says,” The Washington Post’s “2chambers”, 9/13/11)

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) Does Not Expect President Obama’s Bill To Be “The Final Product.” “‘It’s hard to have an opinion on something you don’t think is going to be the final product,’ said Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat who faces a tough reelection next year. ‘I’ve made it clear I’m looking for [tax] cuts, so I’m very hopeful there will be cuts.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Democrat Opposition To Obama’s Tax Proposals Indicate “The President’s Plan May Not Survive Intact.” “The resistance from Obama’s fellow Democrats indicates the president’s plan may not survive intact, as leaders of the Republican-controlled House already have said they oppose other tax provisions intended to offset the cost of cutting payroll tax rates and spending on infrastructure, schools and aid to states.” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11)

OBAMA’S PROPOSALS TO PAY FOR A MASSIVE SECOND STIMULUS IS FACING STIFF OPPOSITION FROM MEMBERS OF HIS OWN PARTY

“President Barack Obama’s New Jobs Plan Is Hitting Some Unexpected Turbulence In The Halls Of Congress: Lawmakers From His Own Party.” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

House Democrats “Wonder How The Proposals — Which Went Nowhere In The 111th Congress, When Democrats Held Majorities In Both Chambers — Can Attract Support Now.” “President Barack Obama’s plans to pay for his jobs legislation are facing a cool reception from some House Democrats who wonder how the proposals — which went nowhere in the 111th Congress, when Democrats held majorities in both chambers — can attract support now.” (Jonathan Strong, “Lukewarm Response For Jobs Bill Payment Plan,” Roll Call, 9/14/11)

  • Obama’s Recycled Proposals “Have Not Fared Well In Congress.” “In 2009, Obama proposed many of the same ideas to help pay for his health care legislation. … But the ideas, which include limiting tax deductions to charitable contributions and increasing taxes on hedge funds and private equity groups, have not fared well in Congress, prompting opposition from key Democrats.” (Jonathan Strong, “Lukewarm Response For Jobs Bill Payment Plan,” Roll Call, 9/14/11)

“Most Of The Measures Have Been Pitched By The Obama Administration In Some Form Or Other Since 2009, Yet None Generated Enough Support To Pass Congress — Even When Democrats Controlled Both Houses.” (David Kocieniewski, “Tax Plan For Jobs Bill Has Familiar Ring,” The New York Times, 9/13/11)

Opposition To Deficit Financed Spending

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC): “The Most Important Thing Is To Get Our Fiscal House In Order … Then We Can Talk About Other Aspects Of Job Creation.” “Representative Heath Shuler, another North Carolina Democrat, said Congress should tame the deficit before approving new spending for job programs.  ‘The most important thing is to get our fiscal house in order,’ said Mr. Shuler, a leader of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition. ‘Then we can talk about other aspects of job creation.’” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I Have Serious Questions About The Level Of Spending That President Obama Has Proposed, As Well As The Actual Effectiveness Some Of These Policies Will Have When It Comes To Creating Jobs…” (Alexander Bolton, “Manchin’s Strategy For Surviving 2012 In A Red State: Bash President Obama,” The Hill, 9/14/11)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT): Obama’s Jobs Bill Will Make It Harder To Focus On Dealing With Our Long-Term Debt Crisis. “‘Every dollar that is spent on the jobs bill … is not going to be available to Congress to deal with the debt,’ said Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. ‘And to me, the top priority of ours should be long-term major debt reduction.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

“Senator Richard Durbin Of Illinois, The Chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, Said The Caucus Isn’t Yet United Behind All Of Obama’s Proposals To Cover The Bill’s $447 Billion Cost.” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11) 

Opposition To Obama’s Plan To Raise Taxes By Limiting Deductions

“Limiting Deductions To Upper-Income Families Was Opposed By All But Three Senators In The Democratic-Controlled Senate In 2009.” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) “Said He Will Not Support Proposals From Obama To Pay For His Plan By Limiting Deductions For Upper-Income Earners …” “Connolly, who represents a swing district in Northern Virginia that is one of the wealthiest in the country, said he will not support proposals from Obama to pay for his plan by limiting deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving for upper-income earners — proposals that have met resistance from other Democrats, too.” (Paul Kane And Felicia Sonmez, “After Losing Special House Election In New York, Democrats Look Toward 2012,” The Washington Post, 9/14/11)

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) Dismissed The President’s Tax Proposals As “Talking Points.” “Representative Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat who is on the Ways and Means panel, said ‘there is great skepticism’ among party lawmakers about the ways Obama has proposed to pay for the jobs bill. He called the offsets ‘talking points.’” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11)

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) Called Obama’s Tax Hike Proposals “Terrible.” “‘Terrible,’ Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. ‘We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Opposition To Obama’s Plan To Raise Taxes On Charitable Donations

In 2009, 54 Senate Democrats Voted Against Limiting Charitable Deductions. (S.Amdt.803 To S.Con.Res.13, Roll Call Vote #138: Amendment Agreed To 94-3: R 40-0, D 53-2, I 1-1, 4/2/09) 

Obama’s 2009 Proposal To Limit Deductions For Charitable Giving Was Pretty Close To “Dead-On-Arrival.” “To pay for half of his $634 billion health reform fund, President Barack Obama has proposed limiting itemized tax deductions – from mortgage interest to charitable deductions – for wealthier Americans starting in 2011. The plan may not be dead-on-arrival – but it is pretty close. In my reporting across Capitol Hill today, I couldn’t find any strong support for the plan. And it’s strongly opposed by several key Democrats on the key Senate Finance Committee, including chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.” (George Stephanopoulos, “Obama Tax Deduction Plan DOA?” ABC News’ “George’s Bottom Line”, 3/5/09)

  • Senator Conrad (D-ND): Senators “Don’t Want To Do Anything That Would Discourage Charitable Contributions At A Time Charity Is So Critically Important To People.” MSNBC’S PAT BUCHANAN: “One way Obama’s going to raise taxes slightly and that’s reduce the deductibility of charitable contributions and also your interest on mortgages. Is that going to happen, Senator, or is that dead?” SEN. CONRAD: “It’s hard to say. I’ve heard from a lot of colleagues that they’re concerned about that. They certainly want – don’t want to do anything that would discourage charitable contributions at a time charity is so critically important to people.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 3/16/09)
  • Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT): “I’m Wondering About The Viability Of That Provision.” “Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), the Senate’s top tax writer as chairman of the Finance Committee, told Mr. Geithner he was especially concerned about paying for expanded health coverage with a deductions curb that ‘has nothing to do with health care.’ He added: ‘I’m wondering about the viability of that provision.’” (John D. McKinnon and Martin Vaughan, “White House Rethinks Tax Hikes,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/5/09)

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “I Don’t Want To Prejudge Anything, But It Is Certainly One That I Am Having Difficulties With.” (Stephen Ohlemacher, “Key Democrats Oppose Obama’s Tax Deduction Plan,” The Associated Press, 3/5/09)

House Ways And Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY): “I Would Never Want To Adversely Affect Anything That Is Charitable Or Good.” “President Barack Obama’s call to raise taxes on high earners and greenhouse gas polluters met fierce opposition Tuesday from congressional Republicans and also a few Democrats. ‘I would never want to adversely affect anything that is charitable or good,’ Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said of Obama’s call to limit high-income taxpayers’ itemized deductions for charitable donations and mortgage interest.” (Stephen Ohlemacher, “Obama’s Plan To Hike Taxes Meets Fierce Opposition,” The Associated Press, 3/3/09)

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV): “A Nonstarter.” “Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) called the proposal ‘a nonstarter,’ telling Geithner: ‘I’d like to think that people give out of the goodness of their hearts, but that tax deduction helps to loosen up their heartstrings.’  Outside the hearing, Berkley said the proposed tax increase was ‘the number one issue’ on the minds of her constituents over the weekend. Reminded that the provision is intended to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to finance an expansion of health insurance coverage, Obama’s top domestic priority, she said: ‘We can find another way.’” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama Officials Defend Budget,” The Washington Post, 3/4/09)

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) Said The Charitable Deduction Helps “Provide Critical Services To Working Families.” ‘In the case of the charitable deduction, one has to keep in mind that the recipients of the contributions include universities, hospitals, churches and soup kitchens that provide critical services to working families,’ Levin said.” (Jonathan Strong, “Lukewarm Response For Jobs Bill Payment Plan,” Roll Call, 9/14/11)

Opposition To Obama Plan Would Raise Taxes On Health Benefits

“A Little-Noticed Provision In President Obama’s New Jobs Bill Seeks To Tax Healthcare Benefits For The Wealthy.” “A little-noticed provision in President Obama’s new jobs bill seeks to tax healthcare benefits for the wealthy, a controversial idea that went nowhere during the healthcare reform debate. The administration failed to convince the Democratic-controlled Congress last year to endorse limiting itemized deductions to 28 percent for individuals making more than $200,000 a year.” (Julian Pecquet, “Obama Jobs Bill Would Raise Revenue By Taxing Health Benefits For Wealthy,” The Hill’s “Healthwatch,” 9/13/11)

Obama’s Proposal To Tax Health Benefits Is “Stirring Opposition From Congressional Democrats Who Fought A Similar Proposal In 2010.” “President Barack Obama is asking lawmakers to tax the health insurance benefits of top earners, stirring opposition from congressional Democrats who fought a similar proposal in the 2010 health-care law. The proposal, tucked deep inside the 155-page jobs legislation Obama submitted to Congress on Sept. 12, would make plans provided by employers partially taxable for couples earning more than $250,000 a year and individuals earning more than $200,000.” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11)

  • Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ): “I Didn’t Support Taxing Health-Care Plans When We Debated The Health-Care Bill … If It Was Up Today, I Wouldn’t Vote For It.” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11) 

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD): “I Disagree With The President.” “Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat whose state includes some of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., said she didn’t support the health-care tax. ‘I disagree with the president,’ she said. The proposal, she said, would be problematic for people with fluctuating incomes. Some of her constituents ‘might make one year $300,000 and the next year $30,000,’ she said.” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11)

Opposition To Obama’s Plan To Raise Taxes On Domestic Energy Production

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) “Said It Was ‘Frustrating’ To See The President Single Out The Oil Industry …” “Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was ‘frustrating’ to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional supercommittee in last week’s address to Congress to find savings. ‘When you start singling out certain industries, there’s an unfairness to it,’ he said in an interview. ‘On the pay-fors, I have a problem.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA): “That Offset Is Not Going To Fly, And He Should Know That.” “‘That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that,’ said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies.” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

  • Sen. Landrieu: “Maybe It’s Just For His Election, Which I Hope Isn’t The Case.” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)
  • Sen. Landrieu: “I Have Said For Months That I Am Not Supporting A Repeal Of Tax Cuts For The Oil Industry Unless There Are Other Industries That Contribute.” “Some are unhappy about the specific types of companies, particularly the oil industry, that would lose tax benefits. “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) Previously Warned President Obama That Repealing Domestic Energy Incentives Will Kill Jobs And Reduce Energy Production. BOREN: “We lose thousands of jobs not only in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and places like Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia. These aren’t just traditional oil and gas producing states. And these tax breaks do not go to the big, major oil companies. They go to small independent companies, like we have in Oklahoma.” (Fox News’, “Your World With Cavuto,” 4/27/11)

  • Boren: “Did you know a vast majority of the production in the United States comes from small independent oil and gas companies? And the new rigs that are drilling right now in the United States, they are not Exxon Mobils of the world. They are the Devons, the Chesapeakes and even smaller companies that are based in Oklahoma that are employing, by the way, a lot of Democrats, blue-collar jobs. And the president needs to understand that.” (Fox News’, “Your World With Cavuto,” 4/27/11)

In February, Democrat Senators Begich, Bingaman, Conrad, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Pryor, and Webb Voted Against Sen. Carl Levin’s Amendment To Raise Taxes On Domestic Energy Production. (S.Amdt.28 To S.223, CQ Vote #7; Amendment Rejected 44-54: R 0-48; D 42-7; I 1-0, Begich, Bingaman, Conrad, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Pryor, & Webb Voted Nay, 2/2/11)

In May, Democrat Senators Begich, Landrieu, And Ben Nelson Voted Against The S.940: “A Bill To Reduce The Federal Budget Deficit By Closing Big Oil Tax Loopholes, And For Other Purposes.” (S.940, Motion To Proceed; Roll Call #72; Rejected 52-48: R 2-45; D 48-3; I 2-0, 5/17/11)

Obama’s Plan To Raise Taxes On Job Creators

Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) And Mike Quigley (D-IL) Wrote President Obama In July, Urging Him To Abandon His Push To Raise Taxes On Carried Interest. “However, we are very concerned about the discussion on increasing tax on carried interest as a way to raise revenue. Such a tax increase would not only damage our already fragile economic recovery, but it would also cripple the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that makes our country so strong.” (Rep. Jared Polis And Rep. Mike Quigley, Letter To President Obama, 7/14/11)

Senators Kerry (D-MA), Shaheen (D-NH) And Cantwell (D-WA) Opposed Efforts To Raise Taxes On Carried Interest. “Sen. John Kerry is leading a group of Democratic senators who object to legislation raising taxes on venture capital firms during tough economic times. Kerry (Mass.) and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Maria Cantwell (Wash.) are part of a dissident group of Democrats who oppose raising the tax to offset the cost of extending unemployment benefits.” (Alexander Bolton, “Dem Vs. Dem – Showdown On Taxes Bill,” The Hill, 5/19/10)

  • Sen. Shaheen (D-NH): “If you raise the tax rate on venture capital it means there will be less money to invest at a time when the economy is still recovering … I think it’s important to have as much money in the private sector to invest as we can.” (Alexander Bolton, “Dem Vs. Dem – Showdown On Taxes Bill,” The Hill, 5/19/10)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Opposed Raising Taxes On Carried Interest On The Grounds That It Singled Out Job Creators For Higher Taxes. “They’re joined by Cantwell. ‘I think there’s a difference in the business models between venture capital, people who do job creation and lose money for a whole long period of time, sometimes as many as 18 or 20 years, and people who just make money because they’re financial engineers. I’m a little tired of the financial engineers, the people who are just making money off of money, telling everybody here what to do, versus people who actually make a product or a service,’ Cantwell told HuffPost.” (Ryan Grim, “Dems Fighting Over Tax Loophole For Money Managers,” The Huffington Post, 5/19/10)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) Has Said That He “Will Not Stand For” Raising Taxes On Private-Equity Firms And Hedge Funds.” “New York Sen. Charles Schumer said on Wednesday that Congress is right to look at the wealthy in considering possible tax hikes but that he ‘will not stand for’ raising taxes on private-equity firms and hedge funds…” (Kevin Drawbaugh, “Sen. Schumer Draws Line On Private Equity Taxes,” Reuters, 7/11/07)

  • Sen. Chuck “Schumer Is Credited By Some With Helping To Kill A Democratic Push To Tax Carried Interest…” (Ben Smith, “Goldman Suit Figure Touted, Fundraised For Ally Schumer,” Politico, 4/16/10)

Democrats Are Ambivalent Or Outright Opposed To Extending The Payroll Tax Cut

“Many Democrats Are Ambivalent” About Extending The Payroll Tax Cut. “Many Democrats also are ambivalent about Obama’s proposed tax cut extension. They are more focused on protecting social programs from deep spending cuts. Some worry that a multiyear reduction in the tax designated for Social Security could undermine that program’s health and stature.” (Charles Babington, “GOP May OK Tax Increase That Obama Hopes To Block,” The Associated Press, 8/22/11)

“[Rep. John] Yarmuth Said Continuing The Payroll Tax Cut And Jobless Benefits Won’t Be Enough To Renew Americans’ Confidence In The Economy.” (Chris Otts, “Local Expectations Mixed Awaiting President Obama’s Job Pitch Thursday Night,” The Courier-Journal, 9/7/11) 

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ): There Is Serious Discomfort With Potentially Setting Up Social Security As A Fall Guy…” “And those are just the moderates in the party. Some liberals also have concerns. ‘There is serious discomfort with potentially setting up Social Security as a fall guy because you’re taking this contribution out,’ said Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, referring to Obama’s proposal to further slash payroll taxes.” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) Opposes Extending The Payroll Tax Cut. “With laser-like focus on spending cuts, Sen. Ben Nelson on Tuesday appeared to rule out the possibility he will support proposed extension of payroll tax cuts. ‘I wish I could,’ he said following a noon speech to the Downtown Rotary Club in Lincoln. ‘But all you’re doing is taking money that otherwise would help Medicare and Social Security.’” (Don Walton, “Ben Nelson Won’t Support Payroll Tax Cut,” Lincoln Journal Star, 8/23/11)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR): “I Have Been Very Unequivocal … No More Tax Cuts.” “A small but vocal group dislikes the payroll tax cuts for employees and small businesses. ‘I have been very unequivocal,’ said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon. ‘No more tax cuts.’ His voice rising to a near shriek, he added: ‘We have the economy that tax cuts give us. And it’s pretty pathetic, isn’t it? The president is in a box.’” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)