WASHINGTON — US Representative William Delahunt, a Quincy Democrat, will support the tax compromise deal negotiated by President Obama and congressional Republicans, Delahunt said in an interview today.
He is the first member of the Massachusetts House delegation to embrace the deal, which would extend all the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, renew a federal program to extend unemployment benefits for the longtime jobless, cut the payroll tax and establish or retain other tax cuts for businesses and individuals.
“I’m going to support it,” Delahunt said today. “We don’t have a choice, really.” The outgoing representative, who did not run for reelection this year, said that 2 million unemployed Americans would be financially devastated if their unemployment benefits were allowed to run out. “We can’t let that happen.”
The compromise, heavily criticized by liberals and some conservatives, cleared a key procedural vote in the Senate yesterday by an overwhelming 83-15 vote. The Bay State’s senators, Democrat John Kerry and Republican Scott Brown, voted in favor. Final Senate approval is expected as early as today, before the measure moves to the House.
Delahunt said he does not like extending tax breaks to wealthy Americans, but noted that the compromise extends the breaks for only two years. “I would encourage my colleagues to support it, with the understanding that in two years they have an opportunity to review what it has meant to the economy,” he said.
Other members of the delegation have received the compromise coolly. US representatives Stephen Lynch and James McGovern said yesterday that they intend to vote no on the package, absent major revisions.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.