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Instead, she joined with other GOP leaders to call for a full yearlong extension of the cuts — including for the wealthiest Americans — saying more comprehensive tax reform could be considered after the election.

"We won't get it done this year, but I think next year you'll see it on the table," Blackburn said. "What people want to know is what they're looking at so they can develop a business plan."

But Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) said the president's plan would provide important money to apply toward federal deficits while protecting the middle class.

"The president just made a sweep through northern Ohio and talked about his desire to keep the burden on the middle class light," Kaptur said in a later interview.

The Ohio lawmaker argued that while tax cuts for the wealthy were important earlier in the Obama presidency to spur economic growth, "Now we face a little bit of a different situation.

"The economy is growing; every month we are adding jobs," Kaptur said.

Kaptur also dismissed the seeming disconnect between the president's call to set the cap for tax extensions at $250,000 while House Democrats have advocated for extending the cuts for those making under $1 million.

"At least we know we want to protect the middle class," Kaptur said. "I think where you put that line, whether it's ... $1 million and above, $250,000 and above, that's to be worked out. But I think it's pretty clear we want to keep the economy growing."