(CNN) - Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, Thursday appeared to backtrack comments he made on CNN's "Parker Spitzer" Wednesday night claiming he'd been told President Obama pressured Democrats to vote for a controversial extension of Bush-era tax cuts, saying not passing them would be "the end of his presidency."
DeFazio's turnaround on the issue comes a few hours after the White House said the President "hasn't said anything remotely close to that." As a follow up, DeFazio is scheduled to appear Thursday on CNN's "Parker Spitzer" at 8 p.m. ET.
Asked about the comment he made Wednesday where he said the President was telling Democrats his presidency was hanging in the balance if the tax bill failed, Defazio said: "I didn't say 'telling Democrats" I said 'I heard, in a group of members talking, one member said, well, the President said this."
When told the White House denies the President had made any such comment, DeFazio said, "I don't know, I have no firsthand knowledge. Maybe that member was loosely interpreting what the President said, because certainly Joe Biden painted an apocalyptic scenario saying that pollsters were unanimous saying this would be a disaster and it would all be blamed on the Democrats if we didn't do this package. So maybe something like that was said and the member interpreted it that way. I have no direct knowledge and it was not the major thrust of my remarks."
The controversy began in an interview with CNN's Eliot Spitzer Wednesday on "Parker Spitzer," DeFazio said "The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls; the president's making phone calls saying that's the end of his presidency if he doesn't get this bad deal."
Asked by CNN's Kathleen Parker if he had personally received such a phone call, DeFazio said he had not, adding, "I won't name the members cause they said this to me, you know, not for public disclosure, I talked to one member who had that call."
DeFazio argued the plan would harm the administration, and called the deal with Republicans a "trap."
"I think this is potentially the end of his possibility of getting reelected if he gets this deal and it's a trap," DeFazio said. "It's a trap on social security and on progressivity in our tax system, and a tax on huge cuts to programs we care about because this adds half a trillion bucks to the deficit next year."
The White House on Thursday pushed back at DeFazio's remarks. "He [President Obama] hasn't said anything remotely close to that and he's never talked with DeFazio about the issue," White House spokesman Amy Brundage told CNN on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the $858 billion tax cut package, which includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire December 31. The measure would also extend unemployment benefits for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points for a year, restore the estate tax at a lower level and continue a series of other tax breaks. The measure, which passed the Senate with a vote tally of 81-19, now advances to the House of Representatives. The House will take up the bill Thursday, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland.