–Senate Minority Leader: ‘Not At All Clear’ What Tax Cut Votes Coming
–Accuses Dems of Playing ‘Russian Roulette’ With Economy
–Senate Majority Leader Reid: Republicans Continue To Block Most Leg
By John Shaw
WASHINGTON (MNI) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said
Tuesday that he’s still in talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
on how to structure the coming votes on tax cut legislation.
In remarks to reporters after a policy luncheon, McConnell said
that it’s “not at all clear” what votes the Senate will cast this week
on tax cut plans and how many votes it will take for amendments to clear
“We are discussing the threshold,” McConnell said, referring to his
talks with Reid about whether the various alternatives should be subject
to a simple majority threshold or 60 votes.
McConnell continued to jab Democrats for calling for a renewal of
most but not all of the Bush era tax cuts.
“We don’t think we ought to be playing Russian roulette with the
American economy,” McConnell said.
Reid has challenged Senate Republican leaders to allow for up or
down votes on the Democratic and Republican tax plans this week with a
simple majority vote being allowed to prevail and not 60 votes.
Reid has said the Senate will vote Wednesday on a motion to
formally consider a Democratic plan to renew those Bush era tax cuts for
a year for those families making $250,000 or less.
Reid also said he would like “up or down majority votes” on both
the Democratic and Republican tax cut plans. The GOP plan is to extend
all Bush era tax cuts for a year.
In his remarks to reporters after a Democratic luncheon, Reid said
Republicans continue to block almost all legislation.
“It shouldn’t take us a week to begin debate on this bill,” Reid
House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will vote next week
to extend the Bush era tax cuts for a year.
On another matter, McConnell said bipartisan talks have begun on
how long a stop-gap bill should extended to fund the government for the
2013 fiscal year which begins Oct 1.
So far, Congress has not passed any of the 12 annual funding bills
and congressional leaders have said a stop-gap bill will be needed to
fund the government until after the November elections.
McConnell said the FY’13 stop-gap will be negotiated in September.
** MNI Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **