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National Government

Democrats block Senate vote on Obama tax plan

WASHINGTON – Democrats have blocked a Senate vote on President Barack Obama's proposal to extend tax cuts for one year for everyone but the highest-earning Americans.

The move came after Republicans proposed votes on two amendments: One on Obama's plan, and a second on a GOP alternative that would include top earners in the tax reductions. Democrats blocked both.

The Senate was debating a Democratic bill providing tax breaks for small businesses. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Republicans were trying to divert attention from that measure. The Nevada Democrat said the Senate would debate the broader tax cuts another time.

Republicans said Reid wanted to avoid voting on Obama's plan because vulnerable Democratic candidates fear backing a measure that would raise taxes on business people, making it harder for them to hire workers.

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