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. 
National Journal
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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