Obama this week has been highlighting the potential impact of higher taxes on the middle class, while Republicans have countered that higher taxes on the upper brackets would hurt many small businesses that file tax returns as individuals.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, made waves within the Republican Party this week by suggesting Republicans approve the tax cuts for the 98 percent of taxpayers in the lower brackets and fight later about the rates for those in the upper brackets.
Cole said he didn't want middle-class families held hostage in the standoff.
Cole's suggestion was roundly dismissed by Republican leaders. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said Republicans are willing to accept more revenue as part of a deficit-reduction deal, but only through closing tax loopholes.
But White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that Obama would not sign legislation extending tax cuts for the nation's top earners.