Published: Dec 05, 2010 9:15 PM EST
Updated: Dec 05, 2010 6:15 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate Republican leader is sounding confident that Bush-era tax cuts won't be allowed to expire on Jan. 1.
      
Mitch McConnell tells NBC's "Meet the Press" he doesn't see Congress raising taxes during an economic downturn. He says that the only thing that needs to be worked out is how long the tax cuts will be extended.
      
McConnell's assessment comes a day after Senate Republicans voted down Democratic efforts to limit any extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the top-earning Americans.

President Barack Obama then signaled a willingness to give in to Republican demands that the tax cuts that expire at the end of the year be extended at all levels.

On the issue of aid to jobless Americans, McConnell says he believes that unemployment compensation will be extended again.

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