The Biden-McConnell deal passed the Senate 89-8. Both D’s and R’s were among those opposed.
The Democrats who voted against it were Tom Carper of Delaware, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Michael Bennet of Colorado. The Republicans who voted against it were Mike Lee of Utah, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Given that wide, bipartisan margin of victory, it will be tough for the House to turn down the deal.
Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden continue to negotiate, with Biden having taken Harry Reid’s place for the Dems.
They have agreed on raising federal income taxes for individuals who make more than $400,000 and families who make more than $450,000. They have agreed on a permanent fix to the alternative minimum tax, which has been getting annual fixes to keep it from hitting middle class families.
It looks as if the estate tax will rise to 40% from 35% for estates worth $5 million or more.
Unemployment benefits will be extended for a year for about two million Americans who otherwise would lose them starting tomorrow. The Medicare “doc fix” will be extended for a year, so that doctors accepting Medicare patients don’t see their payments reduced.
They are still negotiating about turning off the sequester to avoid the automatic spending cuts that will begin tomorrow.
The GOP has dropped its demand that moving to chained CPI for calculation of Social Security benefits be part of the fiscal cliff deal.
They play to return to it as part of the debt ceiling negotiations instead. Those are going to be fun!
Both parties in the Senate have apparently agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for families making up to $400,000 or $500,000.
Right now they’re fighting over the Dem position that the spending cuts called for in the sequestration be delayed for two years. The GOP is balking at this and doesn’t want to use increased tax revenue for more spending.
Negotiations continue, and the Senate is going to reconvene tomorrow.