President Obama's compromise tax deal with Republicans—a package of cuts that would add nearly a trillion dollars to the US debt—won approval in the Senate today in a 81-19 vote. The measure still faces stiff opposition in the House where Democrats see it as overgenerous to the wealthy. The House could consider it tomorrow.
Despite strong criticism from fellow Democrats, Obama has made passage of the bill a key year-end priority, calling it essential for the economy as it struggles to recover from the worst recession in decades. House Democrats are fuming over extended benefits to the wealthy, but even critics expect the package to pass, as is. "There's a political reality here," says a New Jersey Dem. "We can jump up and down all we want about the higher end estate taxes, (but) the Senate isn't going to change it." Obama needs to get the tax measure out of the way to get to a Senate vote on the New START treaty.
(Read more Bush tax cuts stories.)