Here's the latest, from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday:
"We've yet to see a sentence of specificity from the Republicans on the issue of revenue," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday. "And while there has been encouraging statements from individual lawmakers about the realization that rates will go up on the top 2 percent, we haven’t seen anything specific from Republicans with regard to that."Now, let's go back a few weeks to the discussion about the White House gearing up to use its vast network of supporters to help push ending the Bush tax cuts for rich people. Here's what they were saying at the end of November.
A campaign official told BuzzFeed the campaign has not yet made the decision on whether or not to deploy it, and that the White House is sensitive to the perception that an aggressive campaign would not be seen by budget negotiators on all sides as being in the spirit of good faith talks. The official also said the White House realizes how much members of Congress dislike the flood of e-mails and calls Obama can generate—but that if talks break down, the president will likely deploy his powerful online machine.And here's the email showing up in millions of inboxes today from Obama for America's Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter:
[...] Let's get one thing straight: If your taxes go up, Republicans will have made a conscious choice to let that happen. They'll have missed the opportunity to prevent it, just to cut taxes for the wealthy.Did the White House decide that the talks had broken down to the point that they had to unleash their most powerful tool? Because that's what they just did.
Republicans need to stop using the middle class as a bargaining chip. If they fail to act, a typical middle-class family of four will see a $2,200 tax hike starting in a few short weeks. Middle-class families could face some tough financial decisions simply because Republicans didn't want to ask the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay their fair share.
That's not what President Obama and you campaigned on, and that's not what millions of Americans voted for just one month ago.
We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together. So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents.