Senate Democrats are firming up their floor plans for the summer work session and are eyeing the fourth week of July for a vote on extending tax cuts for people who earn less than $250,000 a year, leadership aides said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is packing the summer schedule with symbolic, campaign trail-themed votes. A bill providing tax deductions to firms that boost payroll, which is now on the floor, will likely be blocked tomorrow by Republicans, who complain Reid is blocking a chance to amend the bill.
Democrats also plan next week to force a vote on a new version of the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to require disclosure of campaign spending by corporations and other groups. The new bill raises to $10,000 the minimum spending that would require disclosure. Democrats also hope to force a vote next week on a bill to give some companies a tax credit for bringing jobs now overseas to the U.S., and increase taxes on firms that outsource jobs. Republicans are expected to filibuster both bills.
Democrats are more optimistic about passing a cybersecurity bill, which they plan to take up in the final week before the August recess.
Senate Democrats discussed their floor plans with President Obama at a White House meeting Wednesday and will hope to finalize their plans after a Democratic Caucus meeting Thursday.
After the meeting, Democratic aides said a vote on Obama's tax proposal, along with a Republican proposal to extend all the tax cuts, is likely the week after next, though leaders have not completely ruled out floor action next week.
Both Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered unanimous consent requests Wednesday to set up immediate votes on the dueling tax cut proposals. But each leader objected to the other side's request.
Senate Republicans also hope to force a vote before the recess on repealing 2010 health care law. Following the August recess, Democrats hope to move a defense authorization bill and a continuing resolution extending government funding, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.