By Vicki Needham - 12/02/10 09:49 PM EST
Lawmakers have focused almost solely on the Bush-era tax cuts from 2001 and 2003.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House budget director Jacob Lew are meeting with Senate and House Republicans and Democrats in an effort to reach an agreement that can pass Congress and be signed by President Obama before the tax cuts expire Dec. 31.
"The president continues to believe that extending middle-class tax cuts is the most important thing we can do for our economy right now and he applauds the House for passing a permanent extension," the White House said in a statement. "But, because Republicans have made it clear that they won’t pass a middle-class extension without also extending tax cuts for the wealthy, the president has asked Director Lew and Secretary Geithner to work with Congress to find a way forward."