Senate Won’t Hold Hearings Before Voting on $858-Billion Obama-GOP-Deal Bill

December 10, 2010 - 4:12 PM

Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - The Senate will not hold hearings to review the 74-page, $858-billion tax-rates-and-unemployment-benefits bill that President Barack Obama negotiated with Republican congressional leaders, a Senate Finance Committee source told CNSNews.com on Friday. The Finance Committee has oversight over tax legislation in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate floor next week.

The main elements of the bill will extend the current income tax rates past January 1, when they would otherwise rise without legislative action, and extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months.

However, the bill also includes provisions that extend special tax breaks for autom racetracks and movie and television producers and that transfer revenues derived from federal excise taxes on rum to the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which use the money for, among other things, subsidizing the local production of rum.

According to the office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.), the Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated the bill will cost $858 billion.

On Thursday, the House Democratic Caucus voted in a closed meeting to reject the deal that President Obama negotiated with the Republicans leaders. Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution provides that all revenue bill must originate in the House of Representatives.