Dem Senators Break with Party

At least seven Democratic U.S. senators may reject their party’s plan to let the Bush tax cuts partially expire unless Congress finds a deficit reduction compromise. Their break from Democratic party leaders opens the door for senate Republicans to push for a temporary extension of the tax rate, much like the compromise reached in December 2010. According to the Hill:

Democrats running for reelection, such as Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have declined to endorse their leadership’s call for a tax increase on wealthy families.

Instead, they want Congress to pass a broad package that would cut spending and reform the tax code, which they argue would inject new confidence into the private sector. ...

"I’m totally for the Bowles-Simpson [plan] and will continue to work for Bowles-Simpson. We need to revamp the system and I think Bowles-Simpson is the pragmatic way to do it," [said Manchin.]

The blueprint crafted by former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) would achieve $4 trillion in savings over 10 years through spending cuts and tax code reform.

A bipartisan contingent of senators is scheduled to be briefed by Bowles and former Sen. Judd Gregg (R., N.H.) this week "on the need for a broad deficit-reduction package."