That could create a situation in which both parties engage in a proverbial game of chicken over the issue, with competing votes to extend tax cuts falling to filibusters in the Senate in particular.
“If [Republicans’] proposal fails, what do the moderates do?” the aide asked.
Still, some aides said Democrats might not have an appetite for a fight over middle-class tax cuts after suffering punishing defeats at the ballot box this year, especially if they lose control of one or both chambers.
Instead, Democrats may want do a simple extension of existing tax rates — save for the estate tax — largely because their internal differences on whether to extend only middle-class tax breaks may be too difficult to overcome.
“Having a vote after the election only increases the likelihood that we would just do an extension of the whole kit and caboodle,” one Senate Democratic aide said. “I just don’t see how the politics [in the caucus] necessarily changes for the better after the election.”
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