Baucus casts doubt on Bush tax cut vote before election

"We're ready, but we have a lot to do," he told reporters. "I just don't know [about a vote before the election]. People want to leave town by the end of next week so [we have to see] what else we can fit in."

When asked if he would introduce his bill if there was no vote before the election, Baucus replied: "I just think the middle-income tax cuts should pass. So I'm going to do what I can to make that happen." 

Senate Democrats are slated to meet and discuss the fate of the Bush tax cuts this afternoon. The meeting is expected to decide whether they have the votes to extend the middle-class Bush tax cuts before the election.

Several sources tell The Hill that there is hesitancy within the Democratic Caucus to vote on the issue before November. 

There is also a push to advance legislation granting a payroll tax holiday for certain U.S. multinational companies, which could occupy much of the Senate's schedule next week. 

The bill, Creating American Jobs and End Offshoring Act, grants a two-year payroll tax holiday for companies that take on new employees to perform services in the U.S. that were once done abroad. It also restricts the use of deferral, which is already getting push back from Republican senators. 

"The third portion of that bill [deferral] is kind of a killer as far as jobs are concerned," said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Finance Committee. "What they want to do on that is just going to be a job killer that will make our American companies uncompetitive." 

Grassley refers to the section of the bill that repeals deferral for certain companies that reduce or close a trade or business in the U.S. just to start-up operations overseas and import their products back into the U.S. 

The senator said that the deferral measure would likely outweigh the bill's other provisions, but he stopped short of saying he would oppose it.