(CNN) - Not being in the picture at a Presidential bill signing is a move that may well speak a thousand words.
Standing alongside President Obama as he signed the bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts into law on Friday were several members of Congress including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, among others.
Yet there were many members of the Democratic Caucus who were noticeably absent from the ceremony– Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, to name a few.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, who will become the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, also wasn't on stage with the president Friday. Van Hollen had been particularly critical of the estate tax provisions in the plan before the vote.
The tax plan was heralded by the White House as having a broad base of support, and did in fact pass in the Senate with a vote of 81-19 and in the House with a vote of 277-148.
President Obama was criticized by Democrats when the tax compromise was announced for veering towards Republican positions in a manner reminiscent of President Bill Clinton's "triangulation" following 1994 midterm loses.
Many Democrats now, especially liberal members of the House, openly disagreed with provisions in the deal the White House struck with Republican leaders.
"This is very difficult," Pelosi said of the deal. "Nobody wants taxes to go up for the middle class. We just don't see why we have to give an extra tax cut to the wealthiest."
Even Durbin, who advocated for the plan to be passed, on Sunday indicated voting for the bill was a bitter pill for many Democrats to swallow.
"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," Durbin said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."
The package includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire December 31. It also would extend unemployment benefits for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points for a year, restore the estate tax at a lower level and continue a series of other tax breaks.
As for why the Democratic leadership was not at the signing, CNN's Chief Political Correspondent and host of "State of the Union" Candy Crowley, said the answer is simple.
"You don't want your picture up there with something you don't just believe in."