Washington (CNN) – A day after divided Senate Democrats had to delay a pre-election vote on renewing tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday still didn't rule out a House vote on extending tax breaks for middle-income Americans before voters go to the polls.
"We will retain the right to proceed as we choose. We take it one day at a time," Pelosi said Friday at her weekly press conference.
Although Pelosi is still holding out the option of a vote, several senior House Democratic aides say that it's unlikely the House will take up the matter before the midterms.
One senior Democratic House aide, said, "Everything points to us not voting on it before the election, primarily because the Senate is not going to act. While no decisions have been made, I think the likelihood of it occurring before the election is slim to none."
A significant group of moderate Democrats who are in swing districts have pressed Democratic leaders for a short term extension of all the of current tax rates, including those for wealthy Americans. Many of these Democrats would prefer to delay any vote on the issue after the election. If the House voted just on the middle class tax cut extension it could give their Republican opponents the ability to argue they voted to increase taxes on some.
Vulnerable House Democrats would rather debate the issue at home and have more time to campaign than stay in Washington and allow Republicans to try to frame the debate on taxes, which is an issue where the Republican party traditionally holds an advantage.
One aide to a senior conservative House Democrat said the message to leaders has been, "Let us go home, if the Senate doesn't vote on it, we shouldn't vote on it."
Pelosi repeated her pledge Friday that those tax breaks for those making $250,000 or less won't be allowed to expire, referring to it on Friday as a "guarantee."
"America's middle class will have a tax cut. It will be done in this Congress. There is no question about that."
As Congress gets ready to wrap up business and Members go home to campaign for the midterm election, Pelosi dismissed polls showing Democrats trailing, saying of Democratic candidates, "they're doing just fine. I feel very confident."
Pelosi rejected the notion that President Barack Obama's low approval ratings would impact Democratic candidates, saying "members are clamoring to me to have the President come to their districts. There wouldn't be enough time for him to be able to respond to all of those requests."
While the Speaker downplayed her party's stepped up criticism on House GOP Leader John Boehner, she argued it doesn't begin to measure up to what the GOP has trained on her. "I don't think you could in any way compare it to the money that is being spent on the ads across the country personally attacking me."