Washington (CNN) - A group of moderate and conservative House Democrats is urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to temporarily extend all the Bush era tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of this year.
In a draft letter to Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, these Democrats write, "We believe in times of economic recovery it makes good sense to maintain things as they are in the short term, to provide families and businesses the certainty required to plan and make sound budget decisions. Providing this certainty will give small businesses, the backbone of our economic recovery, confidence and stability."
The Democrats' letter is not finalized yet, but is being circulated by Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah, a leading Blue Dog, New Democratic Coalition leader Rep. Melissa Bean, Illinois, Rep. Glenn Nye, Virginia, and Rep. Gary Peters, Michigan, according to two Democratic aides familiar with the latest version.
Republicans have been arguing that not extending all the of current tax rates amounts to a tax hike. Pelosi and other leaders are mulling over whether to move forward with a vote on a bill that would just extend the tax cuts for Americans making up to $250,000. The letter reflects the unease a number of House Democrats have with that proposal because it could open them up to criticism that ignoring the top rates would impose a steep tax increase on small businesses.
But House Republican Leader John Boehner said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday he could support a bill just extending the tax cuts for those earning $250,000 if that was the only option. Boehner's signal that he's open to a compromise could give Democratic leaders an opening to move ahead with that bill.