Senate passes tax package 81-19, sending it to the House By Alexander Bolton - 12/15/10 01:23 PM ET

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to pass an $858 billion tax relief and benefits package, giving the bipartisan deal political momentum as it heads to the House.

The Senate voted 81 to 19 in favor of the deal struck by President Obama and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“Middle class families need a boost in this economy, and that is exactly what this plan gives them," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement after the vote. "It is not perfect, but it will create 2 million jobs, cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses, and ensure that Americans who are still looking for work will continue to have they safety net they rely on to make ends meet."

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