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SENATORS FAIL TO MOVE TAX EXTENDERS LEGISLATION

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 96-3 to advance a tax extenders bill, passing the first procedural hurdle. Nearly every Senate Republican joined Democrats to advance the $85 billion plus bill that extends tax credits, including the alternative fuel excise tax and infrastructure tax credits, which had expired at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, the next procedural hurdle could not be overcome. At issue was whether Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would allow Senators to offer amendments. Despite general support for the underlying legislation, Republican Senators voted against moving forward because Reid was blocking all amendment votes, saying he is doing it so members of his party don’t have to take tough votes ahead of their reelection campaigns. Others say that the tax code is too important of an issue to not have a full debate on amendments from both sides. The setback on the bill heightened the chance that Congress won’t work out the issue until the lame-duck session ends after the November elections, but stay tuned.