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.).
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.