The U.S. Senate could vote and pass the Bush-era tax cut deal worked out between the White House and congressional Republicans as early as Tuesday. However, in the U.S. House of Representatives, some angry Democrats feel unwilling to approve the proposed deal as it stands.
"Hardly anybody in the Democratic caucus here feels that the president tried hard enough to deliver on his campaign promises," said Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, one of dozens of House Democrats who was defeated in last month's elections.
Obama had House Democratic leaders "go through what turned out to be Potemkin meetings with his staff, when the real negotiations were being done elsewhere," he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate stands poised to give final approval to a bill that will extend all the Bush-era tax cuts for at least two years. A floor vote to prevent any filibusters of the bill passed 83 to 15 on Monday.
"Taken as a whole the bill that the Senate will allow to proceed does some very good things for America's economy and for the American people," President Barack Obama said.
Washington's politicians hope this will make America's businesses feel it's safe to hire and invest.
"Passing this bill so that the biggest tax hike in the history of the country won't happen is one thing that will bring some certainty," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
Many Democrats, however, feel big tax breaks for the rich are not the way to proceed for the good of the economy.
"Extending tax cuts for the wealthy is one of the least effective ways to create jobs," said Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
The measure is still being debated in the House.
Last week angry Democrats voted to keep the deal as it now stands from reaching the House floor. Yet, their majority leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., expects a turn-around before the lame duck session ends next week.
"I think we will pass a bill," Hoyer said.
Even if liberal Democrats refuse to go along, though, there are likely enough Republican and moderate to conservative Democrat "yes" votes to approve the deal and prevent tax hikes January 1.
Tea Party conservatives have opposed the tax cut deal. They want Republicans to wait until January when they will have control of the House, and have more influence on the final bill.