worked for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and failed for Republican Mitch McConnell. The Senate just voted to advance a middle-class tax cut extension by a vote of 51-48.
Reid finally succeeded in doing what Republicans have been fighting for nearly two years: separating the middle-class tax cut extension from the tax cuts for the wealthy, and that breaks the hold the Republicans have had on this hostage.
It's on to the House, where Speaker John Boehner plans on holding a vote on extending all of the tax cuts, including for the rich, next week. This jams him up just a little bit. Republicans will try to say that there's a "blue slip" problem, that the Senate can't originate a tax or spending bill constitutionally, but it's a really thin reed for them to be grasping. Trying to use an arcane procedural argument for holding middle-class tax cuts hostage to the wealthy just isn't going to cut it.
Savor this victory, and let's work for more of them.
Let's upgrade the Senate, and have a lot more wins.
2:26 PM PT: A fun little blast from the recent past:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in challenging Democratic leaders to demonstrate that President Obama’s plan for a small business tax hike has the support of their own party by holding an immediate vote on it in the Democratic-controlled Senate:
“I agree with Senator McConnell: if Democrats support the president’s small business tax hike, then they should allow it to come to an immediate vote in the Senate. After yet another dismal jobs report, the American people need to know whether Senate Democrats agree with the president’s plan to raise taxes on small business job creators – or if he is simply campaigning on another plan that, like his budget, doesn’t even have the support of his party. [...]
Your move, Speaker Boehner.
2:32 PM PT: BTW, the votes the Dems lost were Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA). The Vice President's vote wasn't needed after all, but it was kind of a kick to have him presiding.
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