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Tax Protection Clause Added to Health Bill

WASHINGTON (CN) - Senators approved 97-1 a Democratic health care amendment Tuesday evening to shield middle class families and small business from tax increases, and rejected by 45-54 a Republican effort to send the health bill back to committee.

The approved amendment, offered by Montana Democrat Max Baucus, would provide tax relief to middle class families and small businesses and expand health insurance coverage to children.

Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold cast the lone opposing vote.

The failed motion, introduced by Idaho Republican Mike Crapo, would have sent the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee so it could include language to ensure that no person earning a less than $200,000 salary would face increased federal taxes as a result of the bill, or for married coupled with less than $250,000 joint salaries.

Hopes for a vote on the health bill before Christmas are dwindling, as progress is slowed by continued debate.

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