"Republicans will allow a simple majority vote on the two proposals," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here."
The Senate was scheduled to hold a test vote on the legislation Wednesday afternoon. Republicans were poised to block debate on the plan altogether and touch off a flood of Democratic attacks against the GOP for taking middle-income tax cuts hostage.
That could still happen, but would require Reid to essentially accede that he doesn't have enough votes to pass the bill as it is.