Thirty-one Democrats urge extension of all Bush tax cuts

The letter strikes at the heart of the argument posed by Democratic leaders that the country can ill-afford to extend tax cuts for the wealthy. 

It suggests using excess revenue on the "pay-go scorecard," which shows that Congress has a surplus in terms of paying for legislation that it has passed this year.

"All tax cuts can be extended without violating statutory paygo," the letter states. "Paying for a short-term extension of the high-income brackets is possible without accruing new debt by using existing surplus funds identified on the paygo scorecard." 

A one-year extension of tax cuts for the wealthy is expected to cost roughly $40 billion. The scorecard has approximately $100 billion on it, which would be cover the cost of the extension.

Under pay-go rules, extending the middle-class tax cuts do not have to be offset. 

The 31 House Democrats that signed the letter are:

Reps. Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonTrump EPA eases standards for coal ash disposal Utah redistricting reform measure likely to qualify for ballot Trump's budget targets affordable, reliable power MORE (Utah), Melissa Bean (Ill.), Glenn Nye (Va.), Mike McMahon (N.Y.), John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (Ga.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.), Dan Boren (Oka.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), John Salazar (Col.), Mike Ross (Ark), Rick Boucher (Va.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Ron Klein (Fla.), Zack Space (Ohio), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickDemocrats face voters clamoring for impeachment Arizona Dems ask DHS to appoint 'crisis coordinator' at border Democrats introduce bill to let 'Dreamers' work for Congress MORE (Ariz.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Anti-corruption group hits Congress for ignoring K Street, Capitol Hill 'revolving door' K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (Ind.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jim Himes (Conn.), Frank Kratovil (Md.), Walt Minnick (Idaho), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Harry Teague (N.M.), Travis Childers (Miss.), and Jason Altmire (Pa.).

Senate Democrats did not sign the letter, but more than a handful of them have also called for the extension of all Bush tax cuts. 

They include Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Jim Webb (Va.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and independent Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats.