WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A Democratic congressman said Sunday he suspected the temporary extension of upper-income tax breaks would become permanent if they are approved this year.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that it was unlikely the Republicans would allow the cuts to expire without a fight in 2012, which happens to be a presidential election year.
"Why would I expect that the president and the Congress would then have the political gumption not to submit again to the Republican blackmail and in effect permanentize this?" said Nadler.
Nadler chided the Republicans for "blackmail" in the way they refused to back middle-class tax relief unless the wealthy were included in the deal. "They're really saying, like a bunch of gangsters, 'that's a nice middle-class tax cut you got over there; pity if something would happen to it.'"
Liberal Democrats surprised the White House by criticizing President Obama's deal on the extensions. Nadler said the tax cuts would add $700 billion to the U.S. deficit over the next 10 years and would lead to cuts in social programs for lower-income Americans.
"I'd certainly hope that there are very major changes in this," Nadler added.