By Daniel Strauss - 08/03/12 08:33 PM EDT
Both the House and Senate have approved competing measures on the tax rates. Senate Democrats succeeded in passing an extension of the Bush-era rates for income up to $250,000 a year. House Republicans, meanwhile, approved legislation extending all the rates, including for families with income above $250,000 a year.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on a 2011 panel charged with finding a bipartisan compromise for deficit reduction, recently gave a strongly-worded speech suggesting it would be preferable to have no deal at all on taxes than a deal which spared the wealthy from higher rates.
"If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus," Murray said.