McConnell was critical of Democrats' efforts to pay for the tax cut with a tax hike on wealthier taxpayers, something Senate Republicans have objected to in the past. 

“When a tax hike that’s been rejected repeatedly by members of both parties over the past year is the opening bid in a negotiation, I think it’s safe to say that Democrats are more interested in scoring political points than in scoring a tax cut that millions of middle-class Americans are counting on," McConnell said.


McConnell also rejected accusations from the left that Republicans want to see the tax break expire, saying it was "obvious" that "Republicans strongly support extending this tax cut for the rest of the year."

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial Left presses 2020 Democrats to retake the courts from Trump MORE (D-Nev.) suggested many Republicans opposed extending the tax cut and blasted House Republicans for demanding the rollback of certain Environmental Protection Agency regulations as part of the deal. 

"In exchange for extending this middle-class tax break, Republicans are insisting we pass unrelated, ideological legislation that will make our water less safe to drink," Reid said, speaking from the floor. " 'We'll give you a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans if you will let us continue to put things like arsenic and mercury in the water of the American people.' That's not a very good deal.” 

McConnell on Tuesday said it was Reid who was poisoning negotiations by accusing Republicans of seeking to adulterate Americans' water. 

"When the majority leader of the Senate comes to the floor and says that Republicans in Congress are only willing to extend this tax cut if they’re allowed to poison Americans’ drinking water, then I think it’s pretty safe to say that they’re the ones who’ve veered away from good-faith negotiations," he said.