Supporters of President Obama’s tax cut compromise with GOP Senate leadership defeated a threatened filibuster by mostly liberal Democrats through the use of cloture Monday evening. Minnesota Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar were among those voting for cloture. The bill could see an up or down vote as soon as today. Klobuchar said she voted to advance the bill because of the middle-class tax cuts contained in it. Franken said he supports the measure reluctantly, citing an extension of unemployment benefits as a key reason for his support.
Klobuchar said in statement following the vote, “I voted to advance the bill because I don’t think the middle class should be socked with a $3,000 average tax increase right now, and while there are parts of the bill I completely disagree with – I supported bringing the taxes on people making more than $250,000 back to the Clinton levels – but in the end the parts that I disagreed with were outweighed by the benefits for the middle class.”
She added, “I also am going to work on getting potentially some debt reduction language in this, or at least I know we’re going to be working on this next year, we have to.”
Franken was a bit less happy with the bill.
“I don’t like extending the excessive Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, I don’t like the explosion in the deficit it will create, and I don’t like how the President made this deal. But I would hate even more to see Minnesota families get hurt,” he said. “There’s a lot in here to help create jobs and to help middle-class Minnesotans weather this recession: tax cuts for working families, a payroll tax holiday, energy tax credits, and the extension of Recovery Act initiatives that are already making a difference. And a lot of harm would come to working families if unemployment insurance isn’t renewed. So I’m voting for this reluctantly and will continue to fight passionately to get our economic policies on the right track.”