Tax-Extenders Bill Blocked by Senate Republicans Angry About Process

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Democratic National Committee Chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) attend the dedication ceremony for the Anne Frank Memorial Tree in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol April 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Now planted on the west side of the U.S. Capitol building, the memorial tree is from a sapling that was cut from the horse chestnut tree behind the Secret Annex where Frank's family hid during WWII before it collapsed from disease in 2010. The ceremony was moved indoors due to heavy rain. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
National Journal
Michael Catalini
See more stories about...
Michael Catalini
May 15, 2014, 12:41 p.m.

Re­ject­ing Demo­crat­ic over­tures to work out a plan for amend­ments, Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans blocked sprawl­ing, bi­par­tis­an tax le­gis­la­tion Thursday, height­en­ing the chances that Con­gress won’t work the is­sue out un­til the lame-duck ses­sion after the Novem­ber elec­tions.

Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors voted against mov­ing for­ward des­pite gen­er­al sup­port for the un­der­ly­ing le­gis­la­tion. At is­sue, once again, was wheth­er Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id would al­low sen­at­ors to of­fer amend­ments.

Re­id offered to have Fin­ance Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ron Wyden and rank­ing mem­ber Or­rin Hatch work out a plan for amend­ments if the Sen­ate mustered the 60 votes needed to end de­bate on the bill, but nearly all Re­pub­lic­ans re­fused to go along. The clo­ture mo­tion failed, 53-40.

Re­id and Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell traded poin­ted speeches be­fore the vote, with each blam­ing the oth­er for hold­ing up the le­gis­la­tion.

“This is com­pletely out of con­trol,” Mc­Con­nell said, as many Re­pub­lic­ans stood and watched his speech from near the dais. “It’s a gag or­der on the Amer­ic­an people we rep­res­ent.”

Re­id called Mc­Con­nell the “guard­i­an of grid­lock” in a short speech ob­ject­ing to Mc­Con­nell’s re­quest for amend­ments.

The set­back for the bill, which the Fin­ance Com­mit­tee ap­proved on a voice vote last month, likely means the tax ex­tenders won’t be taken up again un­til after the elec­tion. Re­id voted no for pro­ced­ur­al reas­ons so that he could bring the le­gis­la­tion up again.

Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois was the only Re­pub­lic­an to vote with Demo­crats on the mo­tion. Kirk voted for clo­ture be­cause he was a co­spon­sor in the Sen­ate of the Hire More Her­oes Act — the House le­gis­la­tion be­ing used as a le­gis­lat­ive vehicle in this case, his of­fice said in a state­ment.

Hatch soun­ded pess­im­ist­ic when asked be­fore the vote if a de­feat would give Re­id any in­cent­ive to bring the bill to the floor again. “Well, maybe he won’t bring it up be­fore the elec­tion,” Hatch said. “Then we’ll have to do it after the elec­tion.”

Mean­while, the House is pur­su­ing a piece-by-piece ap­proach, hav­ing passed one tax ex­tender be­fore this week’s re­cess.

The drama on Thursday af­ter­noon fol­lowed a sim­il­ar im­passe this week on an en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency bill. The Sen­ate failed to ad­vance that meas­ure be­cause Re­pub­lic­ans were angry about not be­ing able to of­fer amend­ments.

Demo­crats seem just as frus­trated as Re­pub­lic­ans about the grid­lock. “Once again Re­pub­lic­ans can’t take yes for an an­swer,” Re­id said.

What We're Following See More »
MARCIA FUDGE TO PRESIDE
Wasserman Schultz Stripped of Convention Duties
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week," and is under increasing pressure to resign. The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday named Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge as "permanent chair of the convention." At issue: internal DNC emails leaked by Wikileaks that show how "the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Bernie Sanders by questioning his religion."

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
2 days ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
BELLWETHER?
Candidates Deadlocked in Ohio
3 days ago
THE LATEST
17-POINT EDGE AMONG MILLENNIALS
Clinton Dominates Among Younger Voters
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

In an election between two candidates around 70 years of age, millennials strongly prefer one over the other. Hillary Clinton has a 47%-30% edge among votes 18 to 29. She also leads 46%-36% among voters aged 30 to 44.

Source:
NEW POLL SHOWS TROUBLE FOR TRUMP
Clinton Leads Trump Among Latinos by Nearly 70 Points
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

According to an online tracking poll released by New Latino Voice, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump among Latino voters, attracting support from 81 percent of Latino voters, to just 12 percent support for Trump. The results of this poll are consistent with those from a series of other surveys conducted by various organizations. With Pew Research predicting the 2016 electorate will be 12 percent Hispanic, which would be the highest ever, Trump could be in serious trouble if he can't close the gap.

Source:
×