Harkin blasts ‘very bad deal’

December 31, 2012

On the Senate floor Monday morning, Sen. Tom Harkin, a liberal Democrat from Iowa, said he was “disturbed” to hear that Democratic negotiators had agreed to raise the threshold for the income tax rate increases to $450,000, from $250,000, and to maintain estate taxes at their current level.

“This is one Democrat that doesn’t agree with that — at all,” Harkin said. “I just think that’s grossly unfair.”

 He added: "If you make $250,000 a year, you’re not middle class. You’re in the top 2 percent of income earners in America.... If we’re going to have some kind of deal, the deal must be one that really does favor the middle class — the real middle class, those that are making 30, 50, 60, 70,000 dollars a year. That’s the real middle class in America. And as I see this thing developing, quite frankly, as I've said before, no deal is better than a bad deal, and this looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up.”

Harkin later told CNN that he and fellow liberal Democrats will meet to discuss strategy this morning and may block the deal from moving forward. 

"They think Republicans may object? We may object," Harkin said. The senator also opposed the 2011 debt ceiling deal -- to no avail. 

William Branigin writes and edits breaking news. He previously was a reporter on the Post’s national and local staffs and spent 19 years overseas, reporting in Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East and Europe.
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Ed O'Keefe · December 31, 2012