Democratic aides familiar with the negotiations between Reid and McConnell said Friday evening that the one-year plan would have been offset with a handful of measures, including $120 billion in mandatory cuts identified by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction and a variety of new revenues, including $3 billion from killing a corporate jet tax break and reforms to the tax code for Americans who file as S corporations.
McConnell on Friday dismissed the pay-fors proposed by Democrats for the larger bill as "not credible." Republicans wanted to include cuts to Medicare benefits as part of the offsets.
Today the Senate began voting on the agreement without a score from the Congressional Budget Office, a rare move that could have backfired on leaders had the non-partisan office come back with a report that indicated the legislation added to the deficit. In the middle of the vote, a score showing that the package would reduce the deficit by $3 billion was made available. The overall price tag for the short-term measure is $32.7 billion dollars, and the way it is paid for — an increase in mortgage fees by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — is projected to bring $35.7 billion back in to government coffers. Republican Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), as well as Independent Bernie Sanders (Vt.) voted against the package.
Today's votes were the Senate's last of the year. House Republican leaders are weighing their options for bringing Members back to Washington, D.C., to vote on the two-month deal.
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.