(WASHINGTON) -- Calling the House-passed payroll tax bill a “pointless partisan exercise,” a visibly frustrated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV., took to the Senate floor Tuesday evening and declared that the bill will be “dead on arrival” in the Senate.
“It was dead before it got to the Senate. The Senate will not pass it,” Reid said after the House passed the bill moments earlier. “The sooner we demonstrate, that the sooner we can begin serious discussion on how to keep taxes from going up for middle class Americans.”
The bill passed in the House Tuesday evening by a vote of 234 to 193. Ten Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with the Republican majority, while 14 Republicans voted against the measure.
The bill extends the payroll tax credit but is tied to the Keystone XL oil pipeline. President Obama -- who has often blamed the payroll tax cut not being passed on Republicans, has said he would veto this legislation if it came to his desk in its current form.
Reid said that Democrats would have liked to vote on the bill in the Senate Tuesday night to “prove that the bill was DOA -- dead on arrival,” but said that Republicans were blocking the vote; something his predetermining the bill "DOA" effectively did in the Senate.
“I spoke to Minority Leader McConnell this evening and he told me he needs more time. He will not be able to make a decision until tomorrow morning,” Reid said. “I can’t set the vote without his approval this time.”
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