Amidst reports of that his administration has reached an agreement with Republicans on extending Bush tax policy, President Obama will make a statement at 6:10PM ET. The White House has denied reports that there is any formal agreement, but outlines of the proposal currently on the table are leaking out.
According to reports from ABC's Jake Tapper, New York Times and CNN, the package would extend Bush tax policy for two years, replace the tax credits in the Obama stimulus package with a payroll tax holiday, extend unemployment insurance for thirteen months, extend the estate tax at 35% for two years, and extend $40 billion in tax credits to the working poor.
Beyond the difficulty of reaching a deal between GOP leadership and the White House, whatever plan they come up will face some tough numbers in both the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle.
House Democrats, whose leadership has joined Senate Democratic leadership in meetings today with both Vice President Biden and President Obama, are urging the administration not to assume they will "rubber stamp" any deal. Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann says that including unemployment benefits in the deal would be a poison pill. Even if Bachmann can be won over and every Republican votes for a deal, at least 39 Democrats would also need to support it.
On the Senate side, GOP Senator George Voinovich says he will oppose any extension of Bush tax policy. With Voinovich against a tax cut deal, even if every Republican supported it, the deal would need support from 19 of the 58 Democratic senators to avoid a filibuster.
Update: The administration is crowing about what a great deal they got:
Briefing The Huffington Post about the deal, which could be announced as early as Monday night, the two senior administration officials claimed that they were able to get more bang for their buck than previously imagined. The costs for the payroll tax holidays, UI and other refundable credits come in at roughly $215 billion over two years. The extensions of the income tax rates strictly for the wealthy is estimated to cost about $95 billion. All of it is unpaid for. But the former provisions are more stimulative than the latter.