House Democrats had trouble deciding what to do Thursday about H.R. 4853 – the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act bill, then, around 11:45 p.m., voted 277-148 to pass the bill.
Bill supporters won a rule from the House Rules Committee that called for the measure to come to the floor in the afternoon, and for members to hold one major vote. The vote was supposed to be on an estate tax amendment offered by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
House Democrats who oppose the version of the bill passed by the Senate went into recess and won an agreement to hold separate votes on the amendment and the underlying bill.
House members voted 194-244 to rejected the amendment.
Time for the Senate to act on legislation is running short, and it was not clear whether bill supporters would have been able to get the bill back through the Senate a second time if the House had amended it. House passage of the Senate’s version of the bill appears to clear the way for the bill to be signed into law by President Obama.
Members of the Senate voted 81-19 Wednesday to pass H.R. 4853, which would preserve extended unemployment insurance benefits for 13 months and extend many of the tax breaks in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) for 2 years.