Republicans won't agree to allow a split in votes to extend expiring tax cuts, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday.
McConnell suggested that any vote to extend the tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year were an all-or-nothing proposition, and that Republicans wouldn't agree to a separate vote on the extension of tax cuts for the highest income bracket.
"There's only one thing that's acceptable and that's to not raise taxes on anyone," McConnell said on conservative talker Sean Hannity's radio show. "We're not interested in bifurcating it."
"We're willing to talk to the president about how long he's willing to extend it," the top Senate Republican added.
McConnell's comments hint that a deal along the lines of what some Democrats have proposed -- allowing some tax cuts to expire at a higher income threshold, or extending those tax breaks for a shorter amount of time than the extension of lower-income cuts.
Democrats had initially demanded that the tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 a year and individuals making over $200,000 be allowed to expire at the end of the year. But since the election, President Obama has signaled an interest in possibly extending the tax cuts for several years. Congressional leaders will discuss the issue at the White House on Thursday.
Republicans prefer to extend all the tax cuts permanently, but have said they might be willing to accept a short-term extension -- several years, perhaps -- as a compromise on the issue.