ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to hold two tax cut votes on Democratic proposals this Saturday after a bipartisan deal collapsed tonight on Capitol Hill.
The two Saturday votes will be on the House-passed bill to extend the tax cuts for middle-class Americans earning under $250,000 a year and another from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, to raise the threshold to $1 million a year.
Earlier tonight Reid had been working with Republicans to gain the unanimous consent of all senators to bring four votes to the floor – the two Democratic proposals as well as two Republican ones. The GOP votes were to be on a proposal to permanently extend the tax cuts for all Americans, including the wealthy, and a proposal to temporarily extend all the tax cuts for five years. However, a Republican senator objected, so Reid instead filed cloture tonight on the two Democratic proposals.
“We think we can show the American people what the Democratic priorities are and we are free to talk about what the Republican priorities are because they showed us today,” Reid told reporters tonight after a night of closed-door meetings on the Hill.
“We are for tax cuts for the middle class and they will do everything they can to further their number-one goal: tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires,” outlined Schumer.
While none of the four tax plans are expected to have the votes needed to pass, the Senate tonight did at least complete one urgent matter: they cleared the House-passed continuing resolution to keep the government running until Dec. 18.
If lawmakers had not acted, the government would have shutdown when funding runs out tomorrow, but now, at least, that possibility has been averted.