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Monday, December 13, 2010

Tax Deal: Senate Cloture Vote Passes Test: Update- Up to 70 (Now 80) Votes For Cloture and Voting Still Open

The final voted that the Senate used as a test to see how much support or lack thereof they would have to pass the tax deal negotiated between Repulicans and Obama ended with 83-15, two not voting.

Final vote 83-15, two not voting, roll call found here.

Dems that vote nay:

Bingaman (D-NM)
Brown (D-OH)
Feingold (D-WI)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Udall (D-CO)

Republicans that voted nay:
Coburn (R-OK)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Sessions (R-AL)

Independent, who usually caucuses with Dems, that voted nay:
Sanders (I-VT)

[Updates on top for this post] MSNBC reports after my original post was in the works that the preliminary numbers are now 80-10 in favor of cloture for the tax deal negotiated between Obama and Republicans. More than enough needed to overcome a filibuster (which is 60 votes) when the actual bill comes up for a vote.

(Note- The numbers above are being changed as they are updated, keep refreshing for an accurate preliminary count and the official count will be listed at the top when it is published)

The vote is still open for a little less than an hour more. So these are just preliminary numbers.

This will be updated again with the final vote tally and when the U.S. Senate roll call lists are published I will provide a link.

Original post below.

It was predicted earlier that the Senate would hold their first procedural vote for cloture, to proceed with the Tax deal Barack obama and Republicans negotiated and that they did have the votes, in what was the first test vote in the senate, to pass the measure.

LA Times reports that the vote "began at 3 p.m., and the vote was to remain open until 6 p.m. to give senators time to make it back to Washington due to inclement weather. As of 4:20 p.m., C-SPAN reported, the vote was 64-8 in favor of the legislation."

The final numbers are not in yet, but the preliminary reports indicate the Senate does have the votes it would need (60) to overcome any filibuster attempt.

Related news today shows that the tax deal also enjoys complete bipartisan support from American voters by an easy majority in two separately reported polls, one from Pew Research and one from ABC News/Washington Post, more here on those.

The House of Representatives, still controlled by Democrats until January, has threatened to derail the tax deal Obama and Republicans negotiated and the Senate is expected to pass, but even House Democratic lawmakers opposed to portions of the deal have indicated they see the deal passing the House despite very loud objections from the progressive liberal blogosphere.

House aides said Democrats' strategy in that chamber would be affected by the margin of the Senate vote.

"If you have 70 people in a bipartisan vote, I don't see a situation where we really play that game of chicken and change [the bill],'' said a senior aide to a House Democrat supporting the legislation.

The deal negotiated by the White House and Republican lawmakers would extend for two years the income-tax cuts signed into law by former President George W. Bush. The agreement would also give most workers a one-year reduction in Social Security payroll taxes and enact a slew of targeted breaks for businesses and individuals.

Under the deal, the estate tax, which has been eliminated for 2010, would be reinstated next year at a top rate of 35% and applied to estates above $5 million. Without action, the rate is scheduled to spring to 55% next year and apply to estates above $1 million.

Many House Democrats argue the deal is too generous to inheritances. Some are arguing to amend the bill to include a top rate of 45%, applied to estates of $3.5 million or more. Another possibility under discussion is introducing and passing a separate bill on the 45% estate tax, then taking up the Senate measure, with its 35% rate, according to a House aide. That could give unhappy Democrats a chance to register their disapproval, without blocking action.

The House will make a big "show" of it all, but when all is said and done, Obama, The Senate nor Republicans need the House Democrats to pass this before the end of the year because according to WSJ, Obama can delay the implementation of higher taxes until Republicans pass the deal in January if Democrats do not do it.

.....the White House could block an immediate increase in withholding levels, pending passage of a tax bill by a new Congress next year.....

Democrats can put on whatever show they want, but this either passes as one of their last acts in control or it will pass in January when Republicans take control. All this theater is nothing more than that.

Today's related posts:

Tax Deal: Two Separate Polls Show Liberals Fighting Against Majority of Americans, Even Their Own Party

Tax Deal: Predicted To Pass In The Senate