As of last night, there was an open standoff in the Senate over the Senate’s proposed tax extenders bill and the Republicans’ need to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. Democrat and Republican leaders agreed, however, to continue negotiating.
Primary issues on the table include the Continuing Resolution funding bill, the Bush-era tax cuts, the tax extenders, and an amendment proposed by Senator Rand Paul to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. Pressure is high and the timing is terrible.
We anticipate a vote on the Continuing Resolution this afternoon.
According to the Washington Post,
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that negotiations are underway with Paul and leaders in both parties over whether to allow a vote on Paul’s proposal and how to speedily complete work on the funding bill.
And how do we gain our best insights about these developments?
Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, continues to coordinate a lobbying strategy to help move the tax extenders legislation along. He sent the following correspondence to coalition members last night around 8:20 PM Eastern. It is published here with permission.
From: Paul Suplizio
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Subject: Senator Reid’s Attempt to Pass Extenders By Unanimous Consent Fails
September 19, 2012
Senator Reid proposed this evening that the Senate pass the bi-partisan tax extenders bill by unanimous consent.
The Republican Deputy Leader, Senator Kyl, said Republicans would agree if extension of the Bush tax cuts was passed at the same time.
Democrats oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, thus Senator Reid would not accept the Republican condition. Accordingly, Senator Kyl objected to passing the bi-partisan tax extenders bill.
Senator Reid also asked unanimous consent to go to conference with the House on the differing bills of the House and Senate extending the Bush tax cuts. This, too, was objected to by Republicans.
Both leaders have agreed to continue negotiating to see whether something can be worked out.
An effort by Senator Reid to allow a vote by Senator Paul on his bill to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya fell apart due to objection by Senator McCain.
So we now have ongoing talks on the final issues to be disposed of before adjournment—the CR, the Paul amendment, the Bush tax cuts, and the tax extenders.
Senate Republicans are holding up passage of the tax extenders by insisting on a condition—extension of the Bush tax cuts—that they know is unacceptable, and that the Senate has previously rejected. Our position has got to be that Congress will have difficulty enough dealing with the Bush tax cuts and sequester after the election, the Senate has the opportunity to pass a slew of important tax extenders to relieve anxiety about what the tax code will be next year—anxiety that is weighing on the economy—if Senate Republicans will remove their objection to passing the bi-partisan tax extenders bill by unanimous consent.
Everyone in the Coalition has been in contact by now with their Republican senators—what’s most urgent is to renew those contacts early tomorrow to have your Republican senators press Senator McConnell to remove the Republican objection to passage of the bi-partisan tax extenders bill by unanimous consent.
Senators are anxious to get out of town and, accordingly, have agreed to take the first vote on the CR at 2:00 PM tomorrow, with possibly final passage later in the day. Once the CR passes, there will be nothing to stop the Senate from giving up on other issues and leaving town. Time is running out, so please make your contacts urgently tomorrow.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition