House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speaking about yesterday's meeting with the president said, "At that point in time there was no consensus reached with House leadership."Hoyer went on to question a continuation of the so-called Bush era tax rates for all income levels. "We have been very clear on this position when deficits are at unacceptable levels...giving tax breaks to higher income individuals is not appropriate."
Hoyer, talking about the need to help the middle class and those out of work, took a swipe at presumptive House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) comment that last Thursday's vote on a tax rate extension that didn't include upper income earners was "chicken crap."
"These folks don't believe this is an issue about 'chicken waste.'"
Hoyer says he wants the Senate to move first on the issue and that Republicans are holding middle income tax freezes hostage.
He notes that the president did not ask House Democrats to agree to the current tax extension "deal" nor whip votes for him on it. "I don't like some of the things that are in it," Hoyer said.
As for why President Obama is going for this deal, Hoyer says the president is confronted with a very difficult situation.
And it doesn't appear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is too keen on the proposed deal either. Mirroring Hoyer's comments, she says she'd like negotiations to continue.
"We will continue discussions with the President and our Caucus in the days ahead," Pelosi said. "Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to promote policies that produce jobs and economic growth, and to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own."
She also blames the Republican push to include those making the most income for the delay in getting a tax rate extension passed.
"Republicans have held the middle class hostage for provisions that benefit only the wealthiest 3 percent, do not create jobs, and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit.
When asked about the president reaching out to Republicans, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) said, "I'm sure that's on his mind. But are we in the ninth inning or seventh inning? ... I hoped the president would hang in there a couple of more innings."
Welch has doubts about whether the current compromise could pass in the House saying, "I don't know where the votes are going to come from."
Fox producer Wes Barrett contributed to this story.