Reid acts to force Senate vote on House payroll tax legislation

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) on Thursday evening filed a motion to force a vote on House-passed legislation to extend a payroll tax holiday.
 
The maneuver could be read one of two ways. It may be a sign that talks with House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) have taken a bad turn or it may mean the Senate is set to advance a deal by Saturday.
 

ADVERTISEMENT
Unless all senators agree to yield back time, the vote to proceed to the measure would happen Saturday. There would need to be additional votes to end all debate on the legislation itself and then pass it.
 
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer Charles Krauthammer dies at the age of 68 Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos MORE (R-Ky.) objected Wednesday to holding a vote on the House bill, arguing the Senate should give priority to an omnibus bill to avert a potential government shutdown after Friday.
 
Senate Democratic leaders, however, wanted to vote on the House bill to show BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE that it did not have enough votes to pass, giving them leverage in negotiations.
 
Democrats also thought the vote might embarrass Republicans after 26 GOP senators voted against an earlier proposal supported by McConnell that would have extended the payroll tax cut and paid for it by freezing federal pay.
 
On the other hand, filing a motion to limit debate on the House payroll tax package would prepare it to be used for a legislative vehicle to approve a possible bipartisan deal among Reid, Boehner and McConnell.
 
Reid and McConnell signaled to colleagues Thursday that the talks were progressing well, giving them hope of getting a deal in time to leave town by Saturday night.
 
Senate Democrats were expected to sign an omnibus appropriations bill funding government through fiscal year 2012. That could be attached to compromise legislation to extend the payroll tax holiday and substituted for the content of the House payroll tax package.