Obama is on the campaign trail, touting the Democrats' plan as the only responsible route for extending the Bush-era rates. But he is not meeting with congressional leaders about how the two sides might iron out their differences and strike a compromise package.
Technically, the House and Senate could take their dueling proposals to a so-called conference committee after the Wednesday vote. But for now, that is not likely, and the prevailing Washington wisdom is that lawmakers won't tackle the tax crisis in earnest until after the election -- and possibly until the next presidential term begins.
Many economists think allowing all tax rates to snap back to Clinton-era levels could drive the economy back into a recession, especially if it is hit at the same time with automatic spending cuts, which were designed as punishment for Washington's failure to enact another deficit-cutting bargain.
Republicans say Obama's insistence on raising taxes on wealthier earners will sting small-business owners who create jobs.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment