Democrats in the US House of Representatives refused to vote on a tax package that they said gave away too much money to the wealthy. The unanimous decision, taken at a heated closed-doors meeting of the Democratic caucus, was a major blow to the White House.
The White House's secretly negotiated deal with Republicans on taxes made the patience of Democrats snap.
At the caucus meeting, a chant of "Just Say No!" broke out as members discussed whether or not to accept Mr Obama's proposals.