A growing number of Senate Democrats are signaling they are not prepared to raise taxes on anyone in the weak economy unless Congress approves a grand bargain to reduce the deficit.
At least seven Democratic senators have declined to rule out supporting a temporary extension of the Bush-era income tax rates, breaking with party leaders who have called for letting the rates expire for people earning more than $1 million per year.
That gives Senate Republicans a chance to push a temporary extension similar to the deal Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck with President Obama in December of 2010.
Democrats running for reelection, such as Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have declined to endorse their leadership’s call for a tax increase on wealthy families.
Instead, they want Congress to pass a broad package that would cut spending and reform the tax code, which they argue would inject new confidence into the private sector.