From NBC’s Luke Russert
By just one “yea,” Democrats barely succeeded Wednesday in voting to allow the House to adjourn until Nov. 15.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the tie-breaker in the unexpectedly close 210-209 vote, which became a proxy for debate over whether or not the chamber should address the extension of Bush-era tax cuts before the midterm elections.
Thirty-nine Democrats - most of them facing difficult re-election races - broke with their party to vote against adjournment, signaling the party’s division over whether tax cuts on both the middle class and the nation’s top earners should be allowed to expire.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, gave a fiery speech on the floor shortly before the vote, saying that adjourning before finishing work on the tax cut issue would be an "irresponsibility on the part of this Congress."
Republican leaders say that all of the cuts should be extended.
President Barack Obama believes that cuts for the most wealthy Americans should be allowed to expire because an extension would cost billions of dollars.
"You can't say you want to balance the budget, deal with our deficit, invest in our kids and have a $700 billion tax cut that effects only 2 percent of the population,” he said at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.
The House is now expected to adjourn later this evening or tomorrow after completing legislative business.
NBC's Athena Jones and Msnbc.com's Carrie Dann contributed.