Democrats, eager for a deal and wanting to go home for Christmas gave in to Republican demands on an oil pipeline project .
While it extends the tax cuts and helps unemployed Americans in the short term, it falls far short of hopes for a one-year extension of the tax relief and long-term unemployed benefits to boost.
The hasty compromise leaves many on Capitol Hill disappointed and won’t offset growing dissatisfaction among American voters who see the government as ineffective and divided by politics.
“We blinked and took the easy way out,” a tired Democratic aide told Capitol Hill Blue.
Democrats caved in to most GOP demands.
“At one minute to midnight and the end of the year the Democrats appear to have conceded two significant issues on the payroll tax cut and they got a measly two months extension in return,” David Gergen, an adviser to two former Democratic and two Republican presidents, told Reuters news service.
Democrats baked off from demands to pay for the tax cut with a surtax on millionaires. They also abandoned what earlier claimed would be a non-negotiable demand that the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas to be kept separate from the payroll tax cut issue.
That measure requires Obama to make a decision on allowing construction of Keystone within 60 days or declare that “oil trade with Canada is not in the national interest of the United States.”
The fight resumes next year.