Franken unhappy with tax dealby Anissa Stocks, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Democratic Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday he opposes aspects of a deal to extend tax cuts first enacted under the Bush administration.
The deal reached Monday night between Obama and congressional Republicans extends income tax cuts to all Americans. Democrats have criticized tax cuts for the wealthy.
The deal also extends jobless benefits, preventing about 2 million Americans from losing their benefits over the holidays. The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in November.
Franken said he wants to see details before deciding whether to support or oppose the compromise. He told MPR's Morning Edition that Obama felt pressure from both sides to reach a deal, but he said Obama agreed to the deal too quickly.
"I think he felt he was backed into a corner, but I think he punted on third down or second down," he said.
Some Democrats, including Minnesota U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, oppose the deal, saying it is too generous to the wealthy.
Franken said extending tax cuts to wealthy Minnesotans goes against one of his 2008 campaign promises.
"Politics is the art of the possible and there's compromise in that," he said. "I'm just not happy at all with the way this went down."
You can read about how other Minnesota members of Congress feel about the tax deal here.
(MPR's Cathy Wurzer and Phil Picardi contributed to this report.)
- Morning Edition, 12/08/2010, 8:25 a.m.