Senate

Monday: Weekend deadlock over taxes to continue in Senate

The Senate meets at 2 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. is expected to hold a cloture vote on S. 1323, a sense of the Senate bill expressing support for raising taxes on people who earn $1 million or more a year.

The vote comes just hours after the White House and House Republicans announced that they remain deeply split over whether taxes should be a part of any debt-ceiling solution. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Sunday said Republicans can't support a Democratic proposal to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion deal because that plan involves at least $1 trillion in tax increases.

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Senate committees next week: Solar power, safe water and seapower

Senate committees next week will delve into a wide array of issues that range from examining the Environmental Protection Agency's part in  protecting the nation's drinking water sources to weighing in on the U.S.'s role in the turbulent political and military environment in Sudan. 

A list of featured committee hearings to be held next week follows:

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Hatch derides Democrats’ focus on 'yachting class'

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) responded to Democrats' call for higher taxes on luxury yachts on Thursday by accusing them of class warfare.

"Today the press ridiculed Republicans for 'defending the yachting class,' said Hatch. "Well, there is no yachting class in this country unless you count the Democratic Party of Martha’s Vineyard."

"There is, however, a class of people who build yachts," he added. 

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Schumer: GOP will bear the blame in case of default

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday that if Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline and the country defaults on its financial obligations, Republicans will be to blame. 

"I want to say to my Republican colleagues, because so many of you have trifled with the idea of not paying off debts, if, God forbid, it happens — and I hope it doesn't ... but if it does, you will bear the blame."

"Not a single Democrat that I'm aware of has said 'we want to default,'" Schumer said. "Many, many Republicans have said they want to default."

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio.) followed Schumer's remarks and denied that any Republicans are wishing for default. 

"There is no Republican interested in defaulting on the debt," Portman said. "No on wants to default on the debt."

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Millionaire tax resolution clears hurdle

The Senate voted Thursday to allow Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) millionaire tax resolution to come to the floor for debate.

The Senate has slated another vote for Monday on whether to end debate and move the measure for a final vote on passage.

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Reid defends Senate schedule

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday defended the Senate's light work schedule and his decision to keep the upper chamber in session during a week usually reserved for the Independence Day recess.

"There was a lot of work this week that took place as a result of us being here that would not have taken place but for the fact that we were in session," said Reid. "There has been a lot of working going on behind the scenes." 

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Reid: GOP claims they are looking out for the people are ‘ridiculous’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday morning said Republicans’ claim that they are "looking out for the people" in the debate over raising the debt ceiling is both “ridiculous” and “preposterous.”

“Democrats believe all Americans, including those who can afford private jets and yachts, should contribute to the collective effort to reduce the deficit,” said Reid. 

“The question is, why aren't Republicans willing to do the same?” he asked. "They say it's because they're looking out for the people. That claim ... is ridiculous. This claim is without foundation. It's really preposterous.”

The Senate on Thursday is debating a non-binding “sense of the Senate" resolution that would recommend that those who earn $1 million or more each year pay a greater share of taxes.

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