Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico US Senator Tom Udall is railing against a Republican plan to block votes on key legislation.
Senate GOP leaders delivered a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid signed by all 42 Republican Senators. In it, they say the remaining time in the lame-duck session of Congress should be dedicated to "critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike".
Most Senate Democrats, including Udall, want to end tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and extend the cuts for all others. On the Senate floor Wednesday, Udall slammed Republicans for what he called "a really appalling action" that threatens to bring the Senate to a halt.
Udall discusses the opinion the Republicans have shared in the Senate "In the letter, they say 'we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed for any legislative item.' Any legislative item, until they get what I would characterize is these taxpayer funded bonuses for millionaires and billionaires. So they're gonna bring the entire Senate to a stop."
Udall then tried to force a vote on a renewable energy jobs bill. It was blocked by Senate Republicans.
In addition to the tax cuts extension issue, Democrats have also been hoping to vote on ending the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the nation's armed services.
Sixty votes are required to end a filibuster in the Senate. Democrats currently have 58 votes. That number will fall to 53 in January.