Clock appears to be running out on Bush tax cut vote

"I'm not sure we have time to work it through," he told reporters, adding, "Given the amount of time that we have and given where the votes are, I'm not sure we can get it completed [before the election] because the Republicans will filibuster one thing and we don't have enough votes for the other. So you wind up not getting sixty votes." 

Kerry's comments echo the sentiments of Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill) who earlier today indicated that next week's scheduled adjournment would make it hard to tackle the Bush tax cuts before the election. 

The Senate is expected to recess late next week to give lawmakers up for reelection plenty of time to campaign before November's election. 

However, the upper chamber will find time to vote on legislation providing a payroll tax holiday to U.S. multinational companies that shift overseas jobs to the U.S. 

Sen. Bryon Dorgan (D-N.D.) told reporters a vote will occur on the measure next week. 

The bill, Creating American Jobs and End Offshoring Act, grants a two-year payroll tax holiday for companies that take on new employees who perform services in the U.S. that were once done abroad. 

It also restricts the use of deferral, which postpones taxes on foreign income until the funds are transferred to the U.S. 

Some argue by allowing money to remain offshore tax-free it prompts companies to expand operations in foreign countries instead of in the U.S. 

Most Republicans don't buy this argument, and there is already push back on the provision in Dorgan's bill.

"The third portion of that bill [deferral] is kind of a killer as far as jobs are concerned," said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Finance Committee. "What they want to do on that is just going to be a job killer that will make our American companies uncompetitive." 

Grassley refers to the section of the bill that repeals deferral for certain companies that reduce or close a trade or business in the U.S. just to start-up operations overseas and import their products back into the U.S. 

Dorgan doesn't buy Grassley's argument that limiting deferral is a job killer. 

"That's a lame excuse and they [Republicans] know it," he said. "If they believe that we ought to keep it as is they believe we ought reward people for moving jobs overseas."

The Senate has voted on Dorgan's outsourcing bill before, but it never garnered enough votes to pass. 

"The high-water mark was 47 votes," the senator said. "But I'm hopeful now that we have so many people out of work that maybe people here would understand they need to stand up for jobs in this country."



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