(CNN) – Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, said Sunday that his party does not have the votes they need to pass a tax cut extension for families making less than $250,000 a year.
"I can count, and I know you can too," Durbin told CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union. "We have 59 Democrats and not a single Republican in the Senate supports our position."
Democrats need 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass their tax extension legislation.
The White House and Senate Democratic leaders want to extend tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year, while allowing tax cuts for those who make more than that to expire. Republicans–and some Democrats–support the extension of tax cuts for all Americans, regardless of income level.
Durbin said the "only realistic way to address" the issue is to wait until after November's mid-term elections when Republicans are more likely to side with Democrats as a looming deadline approaches. If Congress fails to act, all of the tax cuts will expire, thus raising taxes for Americans at all income levels.
Republicans siding with Democrats is likely going to be one of the only options, as the GOP is poised to make significant gains in both houses of Congress this November.