(Adds details and background)
WASHINGTON May 13 The Democratic-led U.S.
Senate on Tuesday voted to advance a bill to renew $85 billion
of individual and business tax breaks for two years, setting up
a confrontation with Republicans in the House of
By a vote of 96-3, the measure passed its first procedural
test, but still had a long way to go before the Senate votes on
passage of the bill that contains a package of more than 50
temporary tax breaks known as "extenders," so named because they
need to be renewed regularly.
The bill includes tax breaks for auto race tracks, wind
energy, multinational corporations, Hollywood, school teachers,
Puerto Rican rum producers, college tuition and more.
Most of the extenders technically expired at the end of 2013
and the bill would renew them retroactively through 2015.
Tax lobbyists said on Tuesday the bill has enough bipartisan
support to win Senate approval, but that could take weeks as
lawmakers try to amend it.
The bill faces resistance in the Republican-controlled
House, which is taking a different approach to tax extenders by
renewing provisions one by one.
The lobbyists said they expected the extenders to be renewed
this year, but only after the November midterm elections when a
lame-duck Congress has previously approved similar bills.
Last week, the House approved a bill to make permanent the
research and development tax credit, one of the most widely used
business extenders that has broad bipartisan support.
But the White House said President Barack Obama would veto
the House R&D bill because it would add $156 billion to the
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Howard Goller)