President Barack Obama’s tax cut package cleared a major procedural hurdle Monday when the Senate agreed to end a filibuster by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to block the deal.
At least 61 Senators voted to invoke cloture to proceed to final passage on the $900 billion package as of 4:30 p.m. The tally was expected to continue until 6:30 p.m. to accommodate traveling Members. Assuming the vote stands, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would look to complete Senate action on the measure Tuesday evening, sending the bill to the House.
As expected, most Senate Republicans voted for cloture. Also voting yes were a handful Democrats who had vowed to fight the deal — struck between Obama and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — including Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Al Franken (Minn.).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.