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Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, predicted the tax-cut compromise “will be passed by virtually all the Republicans and a minority of Democrats.” He said he would vote against it.

Even among Democrats, “there’s more support in the caucus than there appears,” Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia told reporters after he and fellow Democrats met with Mr. Biden. “I think some people felt they had to vent.”

Mr. Obama said more congressional Democrats would climb aboard as they studied details of the $900 billion year-end measure.

Raising the direst alarm yet, his administration warned fellow Democrats that if they defeat the plan, they could jolt the nation back into recession.

Larry Summers, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, told reporters that if the measure isn’t passed soon, it will “materially increase the risk the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip” recession. That put the White House in the unusual position of warning its own party’s lawmakers they could be to blame for calamitous consequences if they go against the president.

With many House and Senate Republicans signaling their approval of the tax-cut plan, the White House’s comments were aimed mainly at House Democrats who feel Mr. Obama went too far in yielding to Republicans’ demands for continued income tax cuts and lower estate taxes for the wealthy.

Mr. Obama says the compromise was necessary because Republicans were prepared to let everyone’s taxes rise and to block the extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans if they didn’t get much of what they wanted.

Economists say the recent recession officially ended in June 2009. But with unemployment at 9.8 percent, millions remain out of work or fearful of losing ground economically, and the notion of the nation falling back into a recession would strike many as chilling. It also could rattle markets and investors.

The deal Mr. Obama crafted with Senate Republican leaders would prevent the scheduled Dec. 31 expiration of all the Bush administration’s tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, even though Mr. Obama had often promised to end the cuts for the highest earners.

House Democrats, who will lose their majority in January, still hold a 255-179 edge in the current Congress. To pass a big bill with mostly Republican votes would mark a dramatic departure from recent battles, such as the health care overhaul, which was enacted with virtually no GOP support in either chamber.

Passage of Mr. Obama’s plan seems more assured in the Senate, where numerous Democrats have agreed that the president had little choice in making the compromises with Republicans. Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he and colleagues are considering possible changes, and action could come within days.

Changes designed to ease some Democrats’ concerns might include a provision for bonds to help state and local governments pay for construction projects, tax breaks for wind power and clean-energy subsidies, lawmakers said.