–Senate Majority Leader: Senate May Vote On 2 or 3 Amendments First
–Senate Must Also Finish Work on Stop-Gap, START Treaty
–‘May Have To Work Into the Weekend’

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday
that he expects the Senate to vote “sometime this evening” on the $858
billion tax cut and spending package that was negotiated by President
Obama and congressional Republican leaders.

In remarks after a Senate Democratic luncheon, Reid said the Senate
will vote on the bill sometime “before midnight.”

In a key procedural vote Monday evening, the Senate voted 83 to 15
to formally end the debate on the tax cut and spending bill bill.

Ending the debate required 60 votes. After this was achieved, the
Senate is allowed to debate the bill for another 30 hours.

Reid said that the debate time expires at midnight, but he hopes
that the vote could be held before then.

Prior to the final Senate vote, Reid said the Senate may vote “on a
few amendments” to the underlying tax bill, adding that Republicans may
be preparing to offer two or three amendments.

The Senate bill reflects the agreement that President Obama
announced last week. It extends all of the Bush era tax cuts for two
years and extends unemployment insurance benefits for 13 months. It
includes the extension of a host of expiring or expired tax credits,
including business tax expensing provisions that are designed to spur

The agreement provides for a 2 percentage point reduction in the
employee share of payroll taxes in 2011.

The agreement also sets the estate tax at 35% above a $5 million
per person threshold. This is an important component for some

If the Senate passes the bill it will be sent to the House for its

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that there is an
“urgency” in completing work on the tax legislation this week.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **

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