In an announcement that seemed to surprise Democrats
, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor that he was accepting a Democratic offer to hold back-to-back roll calls on both parties' bills, with each measure requiring just a simple majority for passage.
The new plan puts pressure on Democrats to avoid an embarrassing defeat of their own tax cut plan
, which closely resembles proposals by President Barack Obama to extend tax cuts for all but the nation's highest earners. Republicans want the high earners to keep their tax cuts, too.