Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday accused President Obama of "whining" in his recent defense of the tax cut deal, and said that if Democrats wanted to attempt block the proposal, they should "go for it."
"Quite frankly, the president is whining," Graham said of Obama, who on Tuesday berated "hostage-taking" Republicans and "sanctimonious" Democrats for their conduct both during and after the negotiations process. "I like him personally, but yesterday's news conference was not one of his finer moments. If he believes in the bill, stand by it."
The proposal, which Graham called "a good deal for everybody," contains a number of key GOP provisions -- primarily the two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and the maintenance of extremely low estate tax rates -- which the White House agreed to include in return for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, among other provisions.
While White House senior adviser David Axelrod has claimed that there is little wiggle room for further negotiations on the plan, and that the "framework" is already in place, Democratic opposition to the package has emerged in both chambers with members hoping to force a restructuring of the bargain.
One particular concession that Democrats would like to see addressed is the minimal estate tax, which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday "would help only 39,000 of America's richest families, while adding about $25 billion more to the deficit."
According to the Daily Caller, Graham was adamant about preserving that aspect of the deal, and said that Democrats could and should feel free to torpedo the entire bill in an attempt to remove it.
"If our Democratic friends really think they can get a better deal with a House next year being in Republican hands, go for it," Graham said, according to the Daily Caller. "If they think that's smart, be my guest, go for it. We'll debate it next year and make this stuff retroactive."