(CNN) –– Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Sunday that Democrats "will need Republican support" to pass a tax package negotiated by President Obama with Republicans, though he declined to say whether he thinks the deal will pass the Senate.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Durbin, D-Illinois, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has "promised" GOP backing on the deal to extend tax cuts.
Durbin said he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have been counting votes and making calls throughout the weekend to drum up support for the plan, which is garnering intense backlash from Democrats.
Durbin indicated that many House Democrats, who risked political capital to pass health care reform and the stimulus package, were angry by Obama's decision go against a campaign pledge by backing a deal with Republicans to extend tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
"When I try to project the thinking of many in the House, they really have sacrificed for this president," Durbin said, adding that many Democratic House members "paid a dear price for it in the last election."
He said of the plan, "The one defining issue, the real difference between Democrats and Republicans in terms of economic justice, it appears this agreement doesn't honor what we think are the true values and principles of our party."
But, Durbin still made a push for passage of the bill before the end of the lame duck session.
"In three weeks Republicans take over the House of Representatives," Durbin said. "We have to accept the reality."
"It is the only stimulus we can bring to this economy. We need to work together to pass it, and hope that this economy gets well."