Republican heat led the Obama administration Wednesday to suspend plans for a Christmas tree-promotion program that growers long had sought.

After being alternately bashed and mocked by Fox News and Republican lawmakers for the alleged “Christmas tree tax,” administration officials cried uncle, at least for the time being. They pulled the industry-crafted proposal less than 24 hours after giving it a green light.

“I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama administration is not taxing Christmas trees,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said late Wednesday. “That said, the (Agriculture Department) is going to delay implementation and revisit this action.”

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