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Hoyer is optimistic House will approve tax cut deal

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 13, 2010; 12:13 PM

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday that he believes the House will approve a tax-cut deal cut by President Obama and congressional Republicans - though he said House Democrats may try to amend it first.

Hoyer, speaking at the National Press Club on Monday morning, said he liked some aspects of the deal, including tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 per year, and a one-year reduction in payroll taxes for Social Security.

He said he did not like the tax cuts for family income above $250,000 and estate-tax provisions that he said favored the wealthy. But in a speech that repeatedly urged Republicans and Democrats to find "common ground," Hoyer said compromise was inevitable.

"I think we will pass a bill," Hoyer said. "As opposed to simply not passing anything."

That was a more conciliatory stance than the one taken by many House Democrats earlier this month, when they chanted "Just say no!" and vowed to stop the measure from coming to the floor.

It may reflect a political calculation. If the Senate passes the deal this week, as expected, holdout Democrats in the House would take on a politically dicey role: roadblock to tax cuts.

In his speech, Hoyer said he hoped the bill would be passed in the House by Friday. But he said very little about what exactly the House would accept.

Hoyer suggested that House Democrats could amend parts of a Senate-passed bill, including the part dealing with the estate tax.

"A number of us would like to change it. A number of us think that a compromise is available," he said. "But we'll have to see how the votes lie.

MORE FROM WASHINGTON POST:

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READ: House Democrats seek changes to Obama's tax-cut deal

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