Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) is getting a lot national attention this week as he tries to force vote to make sure families making under $250,000 don't have their taxes go up in a couple weeks.
Walz needs 218 signatures from House members to take this proposal to the floor for a vote. He currently has the backing of 178 Democrats. With a total of 191 Democrats in the House, Rep. Walz needs 27 Republicans to break from the party and sign on.
The bill, similar to one passed by the Senate in July, would maintain tax rates for couples making less than $250,000 while allowing rates on higher tax brackets to increase.
Walz said he sees a chance for success here, in what many see as a huge uphill battle for him.
Some Republicans are starting to come forward and expressing a willingness to agree to President Obama's proposal to continue the lower tax rates on income up to $250,000, while raising taxes above that. In fact, Thursday morning, a key Republican broke ranks with his party on the tax issue.
Sen. Tom Coburn, a leading deficit hawk, said he would support higher tax rates on wealthier Americans as part of a broader deal with President Obama and congressional Democrats to avoid a possible financial crisis.
So, what's the real possibility of Walz getting the 218 signatures he needs? And how concerned should middle class families be right now and if this is really just a strategic move to force Republicans to sign on to a plan they've resisted up to now?
If Republicans don't sign on, Democrats can paint them as so committed to maintaining high-income tax cuts that they're willing to let all tax cuts expire, even those for the middle class.