KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More than a dozen people braved the cold weather to rally outside the federal building in downtown Knoxville on Saturday.
"This is where Congressmen Duncan, Corker and Alexander have their offices and we feel like this is their home away from Washington, and we can be the closest to them here. So we're wanting them to know how we feel," said June Jones, one of the organizers.
Bush-era tax cuts come to an end January 1, and unless Congress reaches a deal, it will mean tax increases for all Americans.
"If we don't get some small measure, like the Discharge Petition, that protects 98 percent of all middle class Americans making $250,000 and less, and small businesses making $250,000 and less, our taxes are going to go up. We're going to see an increase on our taxes right away. You'll see between $200 to $300 a month coming out of your paycheck," said Jones.'
Joan Nelson said that would be devastating for her children:
"They're just getting back into full-time employment, just being able to see that they can actually afford their rent, pay for the food, keep their cars in good working condition. And that $2,000 is going to throw them back into that hard struggle of whether or not they can make it again," said Nelson.
If a deal isn't reached, federal spending cuts of 8 to 9 percent could also kick in, affecting everything from parks, to education and law enforcement.
"Normal, ordinary Americans - we do our job, we do it well. We meet our responsibilities, we meet our deadlines and we get it done. And there's no reason in the world why Senators and Congressmen cannot do the same thing," said Julie Miller, who attended the rally.
If Democrats and Republicans can't agree on a deal, President Barack Obama said he wants to put his proposal up for a vote in the Senate and House. His plan could keep tax cuts in place for the middle class and extend unemployment benefits.