Murray said President Obama winning reelection and Democrats maintaining control of the Senate proved that Americans want a “balanced” approach to deficit reductions. She proposed that the House pass the bill, which would extend the Bush-era tax rate for families making less than $250,000 a year, and then lawmakers could start working on debt reduction through spending cuts. The Senate passed the Middle Class Tax Cut Act earlier this year.

“Democrats and Republicans both agree that the middle class should have their taxes cuts extended, so there is no reason why the House should continue holding that bill, and the middle class, hostage,” Murray said. 

Some Republicans have more recently said that increasing revenue is on the table, but most have said that should be achieved through eliminating tax deductions because raising tax rates harm small businesses.

At the end of the year, the Bush-era tax rates expire, meaning if lawmakers don't act, tax rates will rise on all Americans. Democrats say the wealthy should pay more, but the rates should be extended for the middle class.