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The Associated Press
Published: 09 December 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — A spokesman for President Barack Obama says the White House is still confident that Congress will pass a tax deal despite a vote by angry House Democrats to reject the emerging package. One of the leading opponents of the deal was Oregon's Rep. Peter De Fazio.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that ultimately, the deal "will get passed." House Democrats voted Thursday to reject Obama's compromise measure with Republicans in its current form, but it was unclear how significantly the package might need to be changed. The president has pressed Congress to pass the agreement, saying it has the potential to create millions of jobs. He said if it fails, Americans would see smaller paychecks and it would result in fewer jobs.   Read more Unemployment Stories.

The agreement would extend Bush-era tax cuts to all taxpayers, including the wealthy, for two years. It also would continue jobless benefits for millions of unemployed Americans and reduce payroll taxes for all workers.

The Democratic opposition came in the form of voice vote in a caucus meeting. There is no formal House bill yet.

Gibbs also, for the first time, released a tentative cost estimate of the catchall tax package.

He said it is likely to cost from $750-billion to the high $800-billion range.

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