Democrats and Republicans appear to be uniting behind the outlines of an economic package.
It would temporarily extend expiring tax rates to all taxpayers as well as jobless benefits for millions of Americans.
Differences remain over details. Some Democrats continue to object to any plan that would continue Bush-era tax rates at the highest income levels.
Senator Dick Durbin doesn’t approve of cutting unemployment insurance nor extending Bush-era tax cuts.
Without action, however, Congress faces the prospect of letting the tax rates revert to higher pre-2001 and 2003 levels, and delivering a tax hike to all taxpayers.
At the same time, Friday’s jump in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent is adding pressure on Republicans to agree to President Barack Obama’s demand that Congress extend unemployment insurance for a year.
A deal could be reached this week.