Tax-Extenders Bill Remains Snagged Over Amendments

Wyden continues to talk with Republicans, but Democratic leaders are not optimistic about a deal.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) speaks while flanked by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) during a news conference on Capitol Hill September 25, 2013 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan group of Senators announced new legislation for comprehensive surveillance reform. 
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Michael Catalin
May 20, 2014, 12:42 p.m.

Sen­ate Fin­ance Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ron Wyden is con­tinu­ing to speak with Re­pub­lic­ans about a list of pos­sible amend­ments for the bi­par­tis­an tax-ex­tenders pack­age, but the pro­spects that Demo­crat­ic lead­ers would bring the bill to the floor again soon look un­likely.

Asked Tues­day wheth­er law­makers would get a pack­age to the floor this month, As­sist­ant Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Dick Durbin soun­ded pess­im­ist­ic. “This month comes to a close with our de­par­ture on Thursday af­ter­noon. So not likely,” Durbin said. “It doesn’t look like there’s any time left for it.”

The com­mit­tee’s ex­tenders pack­age stalled on the floor last week when Re­pub­lic­ans blocked Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id’s clo­ture mo­tion to end de­bate. They cited Re­id’s re­peated ef­forts to fill the amend­ment tree, thereby block­ing them from of­fer­ing amend­ments.

Re­id said he re­mains open to amend­ments, but re­jec­ted any meas­ures that would touch the Af­ford­able Care Act, like one offered last week by Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that would re­peal the med­ic­al-device tax in­cluded in the law.

“The Re­pub­lic­ans can’t get out of their head Obama­care,” Re­id said. “That’s an Obama­care amend­ment. We’re not go­ing to do that. They can have as many amend­ments as prac­tic­al to change the bill that’s on the floor, and there’s plenty of amend­ments that need to be offered on that. We have a lot on our side.”


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