Senate Democrats Struggle for Tax Cut Consensus

Senate Democrats are continuing to meet behind closed doors to try to find a way forward on tax cuts. Some members have left describing the atmosphere as "town hall like."

"I would say there is not a consensus. There were a lot of good thoughts," Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT, told reporters. "There were a lot of different options discussed."

Lieberman said "the votes are not there" to left tax cuts for the well-to-do expire.

"We've got to try to do as much as we can do....and then try to find common ground with Republicans. If that means continuing all of the tax cuts for two years, that's ok with me," Lieberman said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, talked to members about his proposal to raise the threshold for tax cuts to $1 million from $250,000, according to members departing from the meeting.

Sen Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said he thought the leadership could put forward a bill that only extends the tax cuts for middle income Americans.

"But If it doesn't get the 60 votes, then we've got a question. Do we want to sort of hold out and go home?" Lieberman asked.

"There were a lot of people who thought they all ought to be extended," Nelson said, himself being one of them, advocating an extension for all of the tax cuts which are set to expire at the end of December.

Sen Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said she thought members could return again Friday for more meetings.

Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, said his boss was still expected to speak to reporters Thursday to lay out a plan for how to move forward on tax cuts.

It's just not clear what that plan might be, except to say that there is no consensus on any one approach in his caucus.