Senate Democrats will once again force a vote on extending a set of popular tax breaks and unemployment insurance, despite the fact that Republicans appear to remain united in their opposition of the legislation.Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) put into a motion Wednesday evening a series of procedural moves and votes designed to clear the decks of pending motions and amendments to his extenders bill.He will then introduce his latest version of the legislation, which reportedly includes further cuts to its deficit spending provisions among other tweaks, and then file cloture on the bill, setting up a vote for Friday morning.Reid and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have been struggling for weeks to pass the measure, and they have gone through similar procedural dances in the past in order to introduce modified versions of the extenders package.Although Reid may be introducing their newest version Wednesday night, it appears he remains at least two votes short. Democratic and Republican aides said throughout the day that although progress was being made in talks with a handful of GOP moderates including Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Scott Brown (Mass.) and Susan Collins (Maine) Republicans were continuing to hold out for further cuts to the bills cost.
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.