Democrats didn’t want to extend tax breaks for the rich. Republicans didn’t want to extend unemployment benefits. In the Senate, they were compromised, passing a bipartisan tax deal by an 81-19 vote on Dec. 15. Sen. Ben Nelson and Sen. Mike Johanns both voted for the deal. Nelson called the vote “a win” for Nebraska families. “Keeping taxes low is critical right now so that families and businesses in Nebraska, and nationwide, can use their own money to create economic activity and jobs that will grow our economy back to prosperity,” he wrote on his official Senate website. Johanns was slightly less enthusiastic, saying the deal was “necessary” to prevent the largest tax hike in American history. “The American people are asking Congress to ensure their taxes don’t go up in a struggling economy,” he says. “It is my hope that the Senate builds on this compromise into 2011 to continue charting a positive economic course for our country.” The House is expected to vote on deal Dec. 16.