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Sanders 'Filibusters' Tax Deal as Key Senate Democrats Join Revolt [View All]

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sasha031 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-10 11:23 PM
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Sanders 'Filibusters' Tax Deal as Key Senate Democrats Join Revolt
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Source: Nation

Senator Bernie Sanders, who has promised to do "whatever it takes" to block the deal President Obama cut to extend tax breaks for billionaires and create a sweeping estate-tax exemption for millionaires, began to wage what he said could be called a "filibuster" on the floor of the Senate Friday.
After Sanders took the rostrum at 10:24 a.m. Friday, the Vermont Independent posted a message on his his twitter account that read: "You can call what I am doing today whatever you want, you call it a filibuster, you can call it a very long speech..."
For all the excitement, Sanders was not actually blocking a vote on the tax deal. The Senate will not take the issue up until Monday, at the earliest.
Sanders was, however, sending a powerful signal about the fight to come.
Then, on Friday, eight Senate Democrats told Majority Leader Harry Reid that they want to amend the deal to cap tax breaks for the rich and protect Social Security.
In a letter circulated by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, the senators said: "We have grave misgivings about the recent tax agreement. We hope that the Senate can improve on it. We look forward to working with you to ensure a vote on our amendment to strengthen Social Security in lieu of bonus tax cuts for people who are doing quite well."

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They also offered an outline for a plan that would to restore tax rates on income over $1 million per year to the Clinton-era rates, and to dedicate the resulting revenues to shoring up the Social Security trust fund.
But the letter gives Reid a bargaining chip. He has a numbers problem. In addition to the eight signers of the letterMerkley, Landrieu. Alaska's Mark Begich, Hawaii's Daniel Akaka, Ohio's Sherrod Brown, Minnesota's Al Franken, Colorado's Mark Udall and California's Barbara Boxerseveral other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have voiced strong objections to the agreement.
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