Senate expects Wed. votes on tax cuts, START, spending; House may consider tax cuts, 'don't ask'
Updated: 1:35 p.m.
The Senate on Wednesday afternoon passed by an 81-to-19 vote the sweeping tax-cut package negotiated by President Obama and congressional Republicans, sending the bill to the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. But the timing of several other pressing agenda items remains undecided, and there is an increasing likelihood of a congressional session in the days leading up to Christmas.
The House is slated to vote on the tax-cut package on Thursday, according to a Democratic leadership aide. Depending on what action the House takes, the bill could be amended and then sent back to the Senate. House Democrats have dug in their heels on the deal, with several members emerging from a closed-door caucus meeting late Tuesday night slamming aspects of the plan, including a revised estate tax provision.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), opening the Senate Wednesday morning, said that the chamber was likely to meet through the weekend and possibly into next week.
"I have spoken with the Republican leader. We're going to be in session this Sunday," Reid said. "There is work to do. We hope that we can complete what we have to do here a day or two after Saturday."
The Senate was also slated to take up the New START nuclear treaty on Wednesday and consider a massive omnibus spending bill. But Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has threatened to force a reading of both the treaty and the 1,924-page spending bill, throwing both measures into uncertain territory.
On the House side, a vote on a new standalone bill that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law is slated for late Wednesday afternoon. The bill was introduced Tuesday by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and mirrors one introduced in the Senate by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
| December 15, 2010; 12:29 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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