On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the ranking Republican at Senate Finance, also won reelection. Hatch had faced a spirited primary challenge from a former GOP state senator, Dan Liljenquist, as Tea Party forces tried to repeat their 2010 defeat of Hatch’s longtime colleague, former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah).
The lawmakers’ victories come just days before Congress will reconvene to try to deal with the “fiscal cliff” set to hit in January, which includes the expiration of all Bush-era tax rates.
Officials on both sides of the aisle have also started looking toward 2013 as a year to totally revamp the tax code, perhaps as part of a broader deal to rein in deficits. President Obama himself also mentioned tax reform early Wednesday morning, in his speech claiming a second term.