By Alexander Bolton - 12/31/12 04:16 PM EST
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems gain upper hand on budget Senate Dems: Don't leave for break without Supreme Court vote Moulitsas: The year of the woman MORE (D-Nev.) told colleagues Monday that negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” continue but leaders do not have a bill to bring to the floor yet.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule MORE (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden have come closer to reaching agreement on extending the Bush-era tax rates but differences remain.
Reid asked for cooperation from colleagues on both sides of the aisle to waive Senate procedural rules so a deal could receive a vote before midnight.
“Americans are threatened with a tax hike in just a few hours. I hope we can keep in mind our single-most important goal is to protect middle-class families,” Reid said.
Liberal Democrats are growing uneasy about a compromise that would extend tax rates for families making up to $500,000.
Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees said he would oppose any agreement that makes permanent tax rates for family income up to $450,000.
“This is one Democrat that doesn’t agree with that at all,” Harkin said. “What it looks like is it looks like all of the tax things are going to be made permanent but all of the other things that the middle class in America depend on is extended for one year, maybe two years.
“I think that’s grossly unfair. Grossly unfair,” he added.