Hoyer still sees action on Bush tax cuts before election

"I certainly think there are opportunities for additional legislation," he told reporters and included the Bush tax cuts in that statement. 

The Senate is expected to act first on the legislation, and several tax lobbyists expect Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to introduce his bill on the issue by Thursday. Some say it could have Republican support.  

Hoyer was unsure about the bill's contents.

"We're not sure what the Senate's going to do," he said. "Chairman Baucus is working actively on this."

Democratic leaders, including Baucus, have advocated extending the Bush middle-class tax cuts while allowing breaks for wealthier taxpayers to expire on schedule at the end of the year. 

That position has received tremendous push back from rank-in-file Democrats who fear a tax increase on anyone during an economic downturn will hurt recovery efforts and possibly cost them their reelection bids. 

The majority leader supports an extension of the middle-class tax cuts, but would not say whether he would allow a floor vote on legislation that would extend all the tax breaks.  

"I don't want to anticipate what I would or would not allow at this point," he said, adding, "I want to see what the Senate can do; I think it will have a great effect on members here."