Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to the vice president, offered on Sunday the strongest White House pushback yet to the bonus tax bill passed by the House of Representatives Thursday.
Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Bernstein said that the bill "may be a dangerous way to go."
The president was "concerned that this bill may have some problems in going too far in terms of some legal issues, constitutional validity," Bernstein explained. He went on to say that the bill, which taxes the bonuses of many bailout recipients at 90 percent, would use "the tax code to surgically punish a small group."
"That said, let's see what comes out of the Senate," he added. "He has not said he won't sign this bill. Let's see what ... gets to his desk."
What comes out of the Senate will likely be much different that what was produced by the House. On the same show as Bernstein, two of the key players in crafting any bonus-based legislation in the upper body both expressed concern with such legislation. Sen. Kent Conrad, (D-N.D.), said, "I have my doubts as to whether this is the best way to do this," adding that "there are certain constitutional questions." Centrist Olympia Snowe, (R-Maine), meanwhile declared: "I'm just not certain that the House-passed bill or the Senate bill are the best approach."