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Entries in Tax Deal (4)

Monday
Dec132010

Obama Hails Senate Vote on Tax Deal

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama praised the Senate on Monday for taking the important first step toward passing the controversial tax plan he hashed out with Republicans, a compromise bill which has angered many lawmakers inside his own party.

The bill still faces a tough fight in the House and the president "urged the House of Representatives to act quickly to similarly pass the bill."

"I'm pleased to announce at this hour the U.S. Senate is moving forward on a package of tax cuts that has strong bipartisan support," he said.

The deal passed a procedural vote in the Senate Monday afternoon, and will come to a final vote later in the week -- perhaps as early as Tuesday -- before it is taken up by the House.

In a procedural vote, 83 senators voted in support of the legislation, which extends Bush-era tax cuts into the new year. Sixty votes were needed.

There were 15 votes against the bill.

Obama said he knew there were members of his own party who believed the deal made too many concessions to Republicans.

"I recognize folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy. I understand those concerns; I share some of them....That's the nature of compromise," he said.

The deal, which extends the tax cuts across all incomes, including the rich, also extends unemployment benefits and provides $400 billion dollars in new tax cuts and credits.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec132010

Tax Deal Passes First Vote in Senate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate took the first step towards passage of a controversial tax deal hashed out between President Obama and the GOP leadership, but the plan still faces a tough battle in the House, where the president's own party has vowed to fight it.

The deal passed a procedural vote in the Senate, and will come to a final vote later in the week -- perhaps as early as Tuesday -- before it is taken up by the House.

In a procedural vote, 68 Senators voted in support of the legislation, which extends Bush-era tax cuts into the new year. Sixty votes were needed.

The first seven senators who voted "no" were Democrats.

"Passing this bill so that the biggest tax hike in the history of the country won't happen is one thing that will bring some certainty -- and maybe more certainty than anything else -- to our economy," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

The deal, which extends the tax cuts across all incomes, including the rich, also extends unemployment benefits and provides $400 billion dollars in new tax cuts and credits.

Last week, House Democrats said they would not entertain a vote on the deal without further negotiations with Republicans and the White House. The White House over the weekend pushed back hard, saying no further negotiations would take place.

"I'm not here to negotiate. We have a framework, we have an agreement. I don't anticipate it's going to change greatly," Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod told ABC News on Sunday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Dem Vows Filibuster of Obama Tax Deal

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The divide between Senate Democrats and Republicans on the tax cut compromise was crystal clear listening to leaders of both parties describe the deal Tuesday.

The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said, “I think the vast majority of the members of the Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate feel that this is a step in the right direction, an important step to take for the American people, and I think the vast majority of my members will be supporting it.”

“The agreement,” he stated confidently, “is essentially final.”

Not so fast, responded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid minutes later.

“This is only a framework. It's up to the Congress to pass it. Some in my caucus still have concerns about this proposal,” he warned. 

Reid was speaking to reporters after a Democratic caucus lunch that featured a visit by Vice President Biden to try to drum up support for the deal. Biden met with senators for about an hour. Reid said Senate Democrats will hold another meeting Wednesday to continue working on the issue. The Senate is expected to act on the tax deal before the House does, but nothing is set in stone and no votes are likely to take place on it until next week.

Even though Senate Democrats have voiced unhappiness with the deal, only Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has vowed to filibuster it. “I will do everything in my power to stand up for the American middle class and defeat this agreement,” Sanders said in a statement.

But thus far most Senate Democrats have criticized the plan, while not going so far as to commit to opposing it. A few such as Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., have said they will support the plan. And Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., predicted to reporters Tuesday that most Senate Democrats will ultimately vote in favor of the deal. The real roadblock to passage, Congressional aides say, will be House Democrats.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec062010

Republicans Hail Tax Deal; Democrats? Not So Much

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an indication that Republicans are predictably more pleased with the new tax cuts deal than Democrats, top Senate Republicans on Monday night hailed the deal as “an important first step,” thanked the Obama administration for its “determined efforts” and called on Democrats to “show the same openness” as the White House.

“I appreciate the determined efforts of the president and vice president in working with Republicans on a bipartisan plan to prevent a tax hike on any American and in creating incentives for economic growth,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “Their efforts reflect a growing bipartisan belief that a new direction is needed if we are to revive the economy and help put millions of Americans back to work. Members of the Senate and House will review this bipartisan agreement, but I am optimistic that Democrats in Congress will show the same openness to preventing tax hikes the administration has already shown.”

Across the aisle, meanwhile, one congressional Democratic aide predicted that the White House-GOP tax deal will have a tougher road getting passed by the House than by the Senate.

“The sense is that this is not a great deal and it’s not going to be easy sledding with the caucus, but it will be rougher sledding in the House,” the aide said.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, blasted the deal, taking aim at Republicans for fighting for the wealthy.

“I’ve asked this question before, and tonight I ask it again," he said. "Have the Republicans lost all sense of fairness? Have they lost all sense of justice? Have they lost all sense of what's right and wrong? They can fight for their tax breaks for the wealthy, fine. But to say that we cannot extend unemployment benefits for people out of work without giving tax breaks to the wealthy -- that's a moral outrage."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio