Tax extenders bill fails in the Senate

The Senate on Wednesday voted 45-52 in opposition to moving forward on the $140 billion tax extenders bill that resuscitates expired tax breaks and extends several spending measures. 

The bill was authored by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who argued that the proposal would help shore up the job market. However, centrist senators in both parties were uncomfortable with supporting the bill because it added approximately $80 billion to the federal deficit. 

Senate Budget ranking member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) raised the budget point of order against the bill that led to this morning's vote and forced Democratic leaders to withdraw the legislation. 

The upper chamber could now take up a Republican alternative offered by Sen. John Thune (S.D.) that is fully paid for, but not expected to pass. 

Baucus is expected to offer a slimmed down version of the legislation that just failed. Democratic leaders hope that centrist members will support a smaller bill that does not add as much to the deficit.