The upper chamber will ring in at 9 a.m. for the rare Saturday session and immediately proceed to vote on approval of the two-month extension of the pay roll tax cut compromise brokered between leaders late Friday evening. That compromise will technically see a vote as a substitute amendment to the earlier House-passed full-year extension of the cuts. If the amendment succeeds, however, the bill, H.R. 3630, will be considered passed as amended.
Reid released a statement Friday night skewering Republicans for blocking a full-year extension of the tax cuts but suggesting his caucus is eager to renew the fight following the holiday break.
“Democrats have worked tirelessly to prevent a thousand-dollar tax increase on middle-class families, but my Republican colleagues wouldn’t agree to long-term tax relief unless Democrats agreed to cut Medicare benefits for seniors," said Reid. "For the next two months, Democrats will work to extend the middle-class tax cut through the end of the year. Republicans can either join us, or explain why they want middle-class families’ taxes to go up.”
The Senate will then move on to a short debate and a vote over the $915 billion spending omnibus, H.R. 2055. That bill would fund Defense, Energy and Water, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor/Health and Human Services, Legislative Branch, Military Construction/VA, and State/Foreign Operations.
The Senate will also vote on House-passed bills related to the appropriations package. One of them, H.R. 3672, provides for $8.1 billion in disaster relief funding, $6.4 billion of which would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The other, H.Con.Res. 94, would amend the emergency relief bill by making an across-the-board 1.83 percent cut to most discretionary spending accounts in 2012.
All votes are subject to a 60-vote threshold.
The Senate also passed a short-term spending bill by unanimous consent on Friday night to fund the government past midnight, when funding was set to run dry.
The Senate adjourned at 9 p.m.