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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a leading liberal voice, said he and other progressives may try to block the fiscal cliff deal that's being furiously negotiated ahead of the year-end deadline.

"No deal is better than a bad deal and this looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up," Harkin said.

Harkin is furious about any suggestion of raising the household income threshold to $450,000 for tax cut extensions. Keep in mind that President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to raise rates on households making more than $250,000 a year.

A Democratic source says Republican negotiators want a three-month delay to the across-the-board spending cuts known as the "sequester."  However, Democrats want a year delay to the cuts to avoid "another cliff in three months."