Republicans are confident that Democrats — just as they did two years ago — will agree to extend all of the tax cuts during a post-election lame duck session. For starters, both sides are calling for just a short-term extension of the Bush tax cuts anyway in order to buy time for lawmakers to do a complete rewrite of the tax code.
"Doesn't it make sense to say, 'Look the president said in 2010 the economy is in such bad shape we couldn't afford to have a massive tax increase?'" said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, top Republican on the tax-writing Finance Committee.
"Yet all of a sudden in an election year he's (Obama) got a different point of view," said Hatch. "Doesn't it make sense to put this over for a year and dedicate an extra year to tax reform?"
Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.