Senate Democrats circulate tax plan, gauging if they will have the votes

Senate Democrats have drafted legislation on a proposed one-year tax plan and are circulating the document among chamber members, as they try to prevent the sections from the rank and file.

A copy of the 20-page draft was obtained Saturday by Fox News and includes -- as largely anticipated -- cuts only for individuals earning up to $200,000 and families earning up to $250,000.

The legislation counters a House Republican plan to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts for one year – with a pledge to do comprehensive tax reform in 2013.

Senate leaders are circulating the document in an attempt to learn whether they will have enough votes to pass the legislation, sources say.

Senate Republicans tried Wednesday to force leaders of the Democrat-controlled chamber to take a likely unpopular vote – tax cuts that would not extend to all Americans.

The vote came just two days after Obama urged Congress to pass his middle-class, tax-cut proposal and was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who late vowed, “We'll have votes on tax cuts this work period.”

The Nevada Democrat is now looking for a vote by the end of the month. And the cost of the proposal is about $272 billion for one year, at least one source said this weekend.

Reid also tried to force Republicans to a vote Wednesday, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined because the legislation had yet to be drafted.

Retiring Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, have said they will vote against the proposal.

“The best thing Congress can do to restore economic growth and job creation is to enact a comprehensive bipartisan plan to balance our budget,” Lieberman said. “There is plenty of time left this year to get this done if we want to. For this reason, I will vote against both the president's partial repeal of the Bush tax cuts and the Republican plan to extend all the cuts for another year.”

Republicans anticipate several Democrats facing tough re-election bids also will vote against the bill, preferring instead to vote for the likely more re-election-friendly plan to extend cuts to all Americans.

Among the names mentioned are Sens. Claire McCaskill, Mo., Joe Manchin, W Va., Ben Nelson, Neb., and Bill Nelson, Fla.

The draft also appear to make clear the income cutoff for the tax break, following reports that Senate Democrats last week were all over the map – from $250,000 to $1 million, as preferred by New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Schumer said he recognizes New York City residents making $250,000 are not rich. Staffers said the senator still believes in the $1 million threshold but has assured the White House he will not offer a $1 million amendment.

The wrangling Wednesday came one day after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod went to Capitol Hill to attempt to reassure and unite Democrats.

Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.