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.).
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.