By Jay Heflin - 09/23/10 06:28 PM EDT
The lawmakers met for lunch to discussion the issue, but by tabling the decision it appears unlikely a vote will occur before the election.
"Still working on it," Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems gain upper hand on budget McConnell: Senate could drop flood money from spending bill Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (D-Ill) told reporters.
Senate Democrats appear to resist a vote on an extension before the election because no matter what the proposal contains they fear Republicans will use it against them.
They fear Republicans will bill a vote to extend only the middle-class tax cuts as a strike against small businesses that pay higher rates.
Meanwhile, a vote to extend all the tax cuts could be viewed as Democrats bending to the will of Republicans, who have been calling for an all-out extension for months.
With no clear plan for the tax cuts, it is uncertain if Senate Finance Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusChina moves to lift ban on US beef Overnight Healthcare: Zika fight stalls government funding talks | Census finds big drop in uninsured | Mental health bill faces wait Glover Park Group now lobbying for Lyft MORE (D-Mont.) will introduce legislation on the matter.
Baucus was expected to present a bill that permanently extends the middle-class tax cuts. It was also likely to address outstanding issues pertaining to the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax and taxes on investment.