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 Representatives.
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.