WASHINGTON An effort to renew $85 billion in tax breaks for individuals and businesses is stalled in the U.S. Senate until after the November congressional elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday.
"I guess the answer is yes," Reid told reporters when asked whether the two-year tax break extension was hopelessly deadlocked until November.
The legislation contains a mix of 50 temporary tax breaks, known in Congress as "tax extenders," that expired at the end of 2013 and would be renewed through 2015.
Reid complained that Republicans were blocking the legislation with a tactic known as the filibuster that can indefinitely delay Senate bills even if a majority supports them.
Republicans have repeatedly complained that Reid was not letting them offer amendments to a range of legislation before the Senate.
Election-year partisanship is leaving many initiatives in limbo at least until the November elections, when all 435 House of Representatives seats and 36 of 100 Senate seats are in play.
The extenders bill would continue tax breaks for auto race tracks, wind energy, school teacher expenses, Puerto Rican rum producers, multinational corporations and others.
House Republican leaders want to renew the tax breaks in a piecemeal fashion instead of with a single big bill.
A post-election session in November likely will be the next chance for considering the tax breaks.
(Reporting By Richard Cowan and Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Leslie Adler)