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Dems Give Up on GOP, Deal With K Street Instead on Extenders Bill

June 23, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As I’ve been writing about on this blog for weeks, Senate Democrats are trying to pass a bill (H.R. 4213) combining an unemployment insurance extension, stimulative tax credits, state aid for Medicaid, and tax hikes on hedge funds and oil companies. They need at least two Republican votes in order to break a filibuster, but, so far, no Republicans are going along with them.

CongressDaily ($) reports this morning that the Dems are changing up their strategy. Rather than trying to strike a deal with the GOP, they are going to work directly with the infamous fourth branch of government — corporate lobbyists:

Senate Finance Democratic staff have called a meeting later today with K Street officials to talk about the stalled “extender” package that includes tax break renewals important to the business community. According to lobbyists, Finance Democrats want to know what it will take to get companies on board with securing the last couple of GOP votes to pass tax breaks such as the R&D credit, active financing exemption for overseas lending, and other items. K Street wants those provisions passed but cannot stomach the revenue-raisers, including those impacting their international operations.

The stalemate has left Medicare physician payments in limbo, as the House will not take those up without movement on the broader extender bill. With the prospect of physicians dropping Medicare patients before the November elections, Democrats know it is “do or die time” on the extender bill, one industry official said.

The idea, I guess, is that the Republicans will vote however the lobbyists want them to.

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