WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he's ready "to roll up my sleeves" and work with congressional leaders on a tax cut deal before rates are set to rise on Jan. 1.
The president isn't happy that Senate Republicans earlier Saturday blocked legislation that would have extended tax cuts for the middle-class.
The first bill backed by Senate Democrats would have kept the cuts in effect on incomes under $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The second would have kept the cuts in effect except on incomes over $1 million.
Both measures fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to advance.
The Senate votes are expected to clear the way for talks to resume between the White House and Republicans. Obama says "we need to get this resolved and I'm confident we can do it."
Obama says lawmakers must give the American people "the peace of mind that their taxes will not go up" come the new year. He says that will require compromise by both sides.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)