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Tax cut bill moves closer to passing in Senate


The U.S. Senate advanced President Barack Obama’s $858 billion agreement with Republicans to extend all Bush-era income-tax cuts, and Senate passage may come as soon as today, according to Bloomberg.

The 83-15 vote to advance the bill on Monday had widespread support from members of both political parties. It now heads for a final vote today or Wednesday in the Senate.

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told Bloomberg on Monday that the timetable for a vote was uncertain, though he hoped “we can negotiate something that doesn’t require us to be here” late today.

Obama, speaking at the White House, congratulated the Senate on moving forward and said the “bill does some very good things” for the economy. He urged the House to act quickly. “The nature of compromise” is “sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us,” the president said.

The legislation would extend all expiring income-tax reductions through 2012, cut payroll taxes by 2 percentage points during 2011 and extend expanded unemployment benefits through 2011. It would let companies write off 100 percent of their capital investments through 2011 and would revive dozens of business tax breaks that expired in 2009.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement that such provisions have “the greatest capacity to put more Americans back to work and strengthen the recovery.”

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