Continued from page 1

“Party leaders are not my directors or my boss,” Mr. Bright said. “My boss is my constituents, and I’ve heard from a vast majority of my constituents that they don’t believe in tax increases on anybody at this point in time.”

Mr. Bright is high on the re-election endangered list, one of roughly four dozen Democrats in districts won by Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain in 2008.

In the Senate, where Democrats need unity and at least one Republican vote to overcome filibusters, at least three Democrats and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have said they want to extend all the tax cuts temporarily.

Several Democratic candidates for Senate have also come out in favor of a blanket extension, including Robin Carnahan in Missouri and Jack Conway in Kentucky.

“Jack Conway was in favor of the Bush tax cuts when they first passed [in 2001 and 2003], and he’s in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts now,” said spokeswoman Allison Haley.

White House economic adviser Jason Furman said it would be a bad idea to extend tax cuts for the wealthier, even for just a year, because it would open the door to making them permanent. Last week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Republican claims that small businesses would be hurt by the proposed tax increase are a “bunch of malarkey.”