WASHINGTON—Two top Senate Democrats floated the idea Tuesday of extending the Bush-era income-tax rates for a limited time only, and tying that move to an overhaul of the U.S. tax code or passage of policies to address the budget deficit.
The idea injects a new element into the ongoing political discussion about the tax breaks, which expire Dec. 31 unless they are extended, at a time of growing concerns about government deficits. The new proposals could lay the groundwork for a multi-year debate many experts say would be needed to overhaul the bulky tax code.
Republican aides on Capitol Hill expressed cautious interest in the Democrats’ idea. But they said they would be on guard against any measure, such as a fast-track procedure for passing a tax overhaul, that might put the GOP at a disadvantage in blocking future tax increases.
White House officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.