Fox News has learned that the Senate is likely to take up the tax compromise deal on Thursday afternoon, this according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and that no substantive changes are expected to the framework he and House GOP Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, negotiated with the White House.
McConnell further predicted Senate passage of the measure, a sentiment conveyed to Fox by a number of Senate Democratic aides close to the negotiations.
A spokesman for Sen Reid tells Fox that the leader is expected to introduce "a Reid-Baucus bill later this afternoon. "
This puts the chamber on a collision course with the House, where Democrats on Thursday approved a measure that would keep the tax cut plan off the House floor unless a majority of the Democratic Caucus favors the measure.
And despite a number of senators on both sides of the aisle wanting changes to the Senate bill, including Republicans who would like to pay for the $56 billion extension of jobless benefits, McConnell said amendments are not expected to pass.
Vice President Joe Biden reiterated as much to Democrats this week in both chambers, but Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) told Fox's Chad Pergram, "Biden said take it or leave it and we said leave it."
The Senate bill will go straight to the Hosue for a vote once the bill passes.
"A deal is a deal and we shook hands on it," McConnell told Fox's Carl Cameron.
The leader also added that Thursday's Gallup poll, which shows 66% support extension of all of the Bush-era tax cuts and the same number support a year-long extension of jobless benefits, the two principal pillars of the tax cut package, clinched the deal.