House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday announced Democrats would circulate a discharge petition to force a House vote to extend current tax rates only on annual household income below $250,000.
The Senate has already approved the extension, but Republicans are objecting because they want all of the Bush-era rates to be extended, including on income above $250,000.
The move by Pelosi comes as President Obama has sought to increase public pressure on Republicans to bend on the issue.
Obama and Congress are struggling to reach a deal on taxes and spending that would prevent the tax hikes as well as $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to begin in January. Economists warn the combination of increased taxes and spending cuts could throw the economy into a recession.