House Democrats’ practical transition to minority status precedes the formal transfer of power on January 5th. Speaker Pelosi has one big decision to make before she becomes Minority Leader: Will she bring up a Senate-passed tax bill for an up-or-down House vote?
On Thursday the tax deal was released in legislative form, surprisingly labeled the Reid/McConnell amendment. You don’t see that every day on a big economic issue. Senate Republican Whip Kyl supports it, and in the Senate we therefore have an Obama-Reid-McConnell-Kyl alliance. That’s unbeatable and will clearly get the 60 votes needed for cloture next Monday at 3 PM EST.
- Bill text
- Joint Tax Committee score. (Note that this excludes the unemployment insurance, which should have a roughly $56 billion cost.)
- Staff summaries: Democratic staff (Senate Finance?), Republican Camp-Grassley memo
Assuming the Senate invokes cloture Monday afternoon, I would expect the bill to pass no later than Tuesday. It then crosses the rotunda to the House, where Speaker Pelosi has a decision to make. She has unilateral authority to decide which bills come to the floor of the House.