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Senate to Vote Tonight on Budget Deal Forged by White House

Dawn breaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Photo: Jay Mallin/Bloomberg
Dawn breaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Photo: Jay Mallin/Bloomberg

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said tonight the chamber would vote on an agreement between the White House and Republicans to prevent tax increases scheduled to take effect tomorrow for almost every U.S. worker.

Reid spoke after a meeting with Senate Democrats at which Vice President Joe Biden pitched the plan to party members, several of whom had earlier expressed reservations about the accord. Lawmakers including Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said afterward they expected wide support for the plan.

After more than 17 months of bickering, Congress and President Barack Obama have yet to finalize a deal to avert more than $600 billion in tax increases and federal spending cuts scheduled to start in January. Even if a deal clears both chambers of Congress in coming days, it would be more limited than what Obama and leaders of both parties sought.

“There are many many reasons people don’t like the proposal,” Schumer said. “But there’s very close to unanimity that it’s better than going over the cliff.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net

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