As expected, the compromise on the Bush tax cuts sailed through the Senate this afternoon. The final vote was 81 to 19, with 13 “No” votes coming from Democrats and just 5 from Republicans.
Senators Schumer and Gillibrand split on the bill–just as they did when voting for cloture on Monday. But they both issued statements decrying the extension of the Bush era breaks for the top tax bracket.
“It is unfortunate that Republicans have dictated an ultimatum that we either provide tax breaks for millionaires or else jeopardize our fragile economic recovery,” said Schumer, who voted in favor of the bill. He added that the president negotiated a number of “pro-growth proposals,” but that he hoped the economic climate in two years would allow Congress to attend the “millionaire tax breaks.”
“This kind of fiscal recklessness is bad for our economy and bad for future generations,” said Gillibrand, who voted against it.
The House is expected take up the bill this week, possibly as soon as this evening. Democrats there have been pushing for changes to the bill, but even liberal members are starting to concede it will probably pass without drastic changes.
In a statement after the Senate vote, President Obama once again called on the House to settle for the compromise.
“I know that not every Member of Congress likes every piece of this bill, and it includes some provisions that I oppose,” said the president. “But as a whole, this package will grow our economy, create jobs, and help middle class families across the country. As this bill moves to the House of Representatives, I hope that members from both parties can come together in a spirit of common purpose to protect American families and our economy as a whole by passing this essential economic package.”