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.).
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.