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Hannity

How Will Tax Cut Bill Play Out?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The tax cut compromise has sent Washington into a tailspin. Perhaps nobody is more upset than House Democrats unleashing their anger at the president for caving into the GOP. On that front, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, he is leading the charge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSMAN ANTHONY WEINER , D-N.Y.: We need the president to be the leader of our country, to be the leader of our party and to be the leader of the values we believe in and he seems to go from zero to compromise in 3.5 seconds.

It's like we need to have a different sense. This whole notion of what he said today that reminds him of the public option debate. Yes, it kind of does. It was the same exact case where if you don't fight for something you can't expect to get it. I didn't think you should expect Democrats to be happy about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, Weiner continued his assault on "The Anointed One" earlier today, attacking the president for his failure to put up a fight. Let's take a look at the exchange he had with our own Megyn Kelly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "AMERICA LIVE")

WEINER: He tried to fight and lost. When was that fight? I don't even remember that fight.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: I don't remember the president going on traveling the country and saying we need a middle class tax cut, that we can't afford any more debt or better yet, we'll raise the number to a million dollars and put the rest of the money going towards small businesses.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Senator Schumer couldn't sell that to the Democrats in the Senate. That was his proposal. It was on the table he couldn't sell it.

WEINER: Megyn, are you are having a difficult time differentiating between me, Shelley Berkley, Chuck Shumer and the president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, meanwhile, the rest of Weiner's liberal colleagues are just plain bitter, California Democrat Lynne Woolsey told the Wall Street Journal at the White House Christmas Party they were "toasting to the billionaires, very sarcastically."

But that's not to say that all Republicans are happy with the bill because they are not. So will the bill pass? Joining me now with some insight on how all this plays out, South Dakota Senator Thune.

Senator, welcome back. By the way, how does it feel to be a hostage- taking enemy of the country?

SENATOR JOHN THUNE, R-S.D.: That was a little harsh, I thought. I think the rhetoric is heating up on their side. They are very unhappy about this. The president clearly is not happy to have to make the deal that he made.

I think as far as Republicans are concerned, there are people on our side that aren't happy about unemployment insurance being extended and not paid for. Hopefully we'll get an opportunity to offer an amendment to pay for it. But getting two year extension of the rates, getting death tax relief put into place, those are very big victories and I can see why particularly the Democrat left is unhappy about it.

HANNITY: Well, they say he got taken to the cleaners that we got screwed. They're calling him "President Patsy." What do you make of that?

THUNE: I think it is -- for them this is their sort of last gasp. You know, they want to see those tax rates stay in place. I think they think the president did cave in, but frankly, the president did what he needed to do.

Otherwise you get a tax increase on January 1st, and it would have affected all Americans. I think the president knew he had to tack to the center on this. He had to at least reach out to and work with Republicans.

He's obviously taken on a lot of water with his base for doing that, but it is the right thing to for the country. So, you know, we need to get this thing -- we need to get this tax rate issue addressed so we don't have this massive tax increase occur on January 1.

HANNITY: What do you think of what Jim DeMint and Governor Palin had said about this that, you know, we need to extend unemployment. We can't do it without funding it. Number two, we don't need a temporary economy. We don't need temporary tax rates, businesses need to look five, 10 years down the road. What do you think of that criticism?

THUNE: I don't disagree with any of that. I think that businesses do need certainty. I would prefer if we could get a permanent extension of this for all taxpayers. But right now the Democrats have 58 votes in the Senate and 260 votes in the Senate and they have a Democrat White House that's not likely to happen.

So, I hope what we can do is at least get this two year fix put into place. We'll have an opportunity when we get reinforcements in January to start looking at tax policy on a longer term basis.

But I do agree with what Senator DeMint is saying and that is we need to try and come up with a way to pay for this $55 billion extension of unemployment benefits. We will be offering amendments in the Senate to do just that.

HANNITY: All right, do you think this passes in the U.S. Senate?

THUNE: Well, my guess is Sean that there will be a lot of Democrats that are going to squawk about this, but in the end, we'll probably come around to vote for it.

I think most Republicans will as well. I just think it's that important. We cannot not provide certainty to small business and families into the markets with these tax increases looming out there on January 1.

HANNITY: Just earlier tonight, I see that the Dream Act was passed in the House of Representatives, 216-198. Does it pass in the Senate do you think?

THUNE: I think that all these things that are on the Democrats' agenda, including the Dream Act are check the box type issues. They made promises to certain constituencies. Putting these things on the floor of the United States Senate, knowing that you don't have the votes to pass them seems to be kind of a cynical, political ploy, but that's what we're up against.

That's what they want to do between now and the end of year, but we've said we have 42 Republicans on a letter that said deal with the taxes issue first, deal with spending, let's get a hopefully a short term CR in place to get us into next year when we get some reinforcements and we can write the budget and let's be done with it.

Let's don't get any more of this liberal agenda passed before the end of the year and we're going to do everything we can in the Senate to stop that.

HANNITY: Senator, a lot of people are speculating that you are going to be making a run for the presidency. Are you thinking about it?

THUNE: It is a lot harder decision than deciding to run for the Senate, Sean. I'm going through a process, doing diligence and talking to a lot of people. But obviously there are a lot of things that you weigh, first and foremost do I have something to contribute? Is there something I can help do for the American people and provide a vision for this country that will get us back on track? We are in the process of trying to decide that now.

HANNITY: All right, so when you are ready come on the show and you can announce it here.

THUNE: Will do. Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Senator. Good to see you again. Appreciate it.

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