Democratic Sen. Mark Udall late Tuesday issued a fairly pointed rebuke of President Barack Obama’s deal with Republican leaders to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts.
Obama defiantly defended the deal in the face of what The New York Times described as a Democratic revolt. It includes cuts for the nation’s wealthiest Americans, and Obama said the deal was unavoidable to get middle-class tax relief.
While some Democratic leadership, including Nancy Pelosi, remained neutral, Udall chose to oppose the deal, calling it the “worst possible case of collective short-term memory loss.”
Here’s his entire release.
“Just last week, a bipartisan group appointed by the President called our national debt a ‘cancer’ that is threatening our country from within. As I’ve said for many years, our looming debt is perhaps the greatest challenge to our economy and our national security. Now, exactly four days later, we are being asked by the President to add $900 billion to that debt over the next two years.
“I feel like we are suffering from the worst possible case of collective short-term memory loss. The cost of extending tax breaks for millionaires alone is $700 billion over the next decade. As I’ve said many times – I believe there are better ways to strengthen the economy than tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
“I agree with the President that we need to make progress on the question of whether to extend the Bush tax cuts – and like him, I believe this is an issue that is critical to our economy. But that is the extent of our agreement. While I still want to examine the details, my first response to this proposal is to be opposed.
“With our debt out of control, our troops battling two wars, and American families struggling every week in the recession, extending tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires makes no sense. And I’m willing to stay here in Washington and work weekends, nights and through the holidays rather than pass a compromise that I believe will weaken our economy for the long term.”