The middle class must feel like pawns in a chess game being waged by members of Congress and President Barack Obama.

But relief for the nation’s taxpayers may be on the way with the announcement that the President and GOP lawmakers have reached a deal.

“Make no mistake, allowing taxes to go up on all Americans would have raised taxes by $3,000 for a typical American family and that could cost our economy well over a million jobs,” said the president.

Senate Republicans and Democrats are trying to compromise on extending both the Bush-era tax cuts and unemployment benefits, but the Democrats may be upset that Obama reached out to the Republicans to break the impasse.

Through a spokesman, Nevada Democrat Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said he will discuss the agreement with his caucus. What’s there to discuss?

Up until Monday, posturing from both sides has delayed any resolution although a firm agreement may be accomplished this week. While it’s nice to see the lawmakers roll up their sleeves and work on these two major bills, senators from both parties should have taken up this discussion months ago before the November elections rather than wait until the last minute. Congress adjourns for the Christmas break in less than two weeks.

Since Nevada has the distinction of being the most economically stressed state, timing is of great importance. To Sen. Reid, the Bush era tax cuts must be extended for all income levels, and if both sides agree to revisit tax cuts in 2012, so be it. Between now and then, Congress must find a way to reduce one art of the budget to fund these cuts. That’s life.

Most Nevadans would be hard-hit in the pocketbook if the tax cuts elapsed at the end of the year if more foot-dragging were to ensue and resulted in more money being deducted from paychecks. Lawmakers would be shirking their duties by dragging their feet to rescue their constituents, many of whom are struggling.

The rhetoric emitting from both sides of the aisle serves no purpose at this time. Extend the tax cuts but find a way to help those facing greater hardships when their unemployment benefits begin to run out.

That’s the best Christmas gift our Congressmen can give this holiday season.

Editorials are written by the LVN Editorial Board and appear on Wednesdays.