UPDATE 2-Rum, race cars, windmills win U.S. Senate tax favor
(Adds MacGuineas comment, details of package, paragraphs 5-7, 13)
WASHINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate's tax committee approved a package of special-interest tax breaks on Thursday, including three measures that were left off the list two days ago in a brief bipartisan nod toward fiscal reform.
In a sign of business-as-usual on Capitol Hill, the Senate Finance Committee backed tax breaks for auto race tracks, wind energy, multinational corporations, Hollywood, school teachers, Puerto Rican rum producers, college tuition and more.
About 50 temporary tax breaks won a two-year extension from the panel in an $85 billion legislative package known as the "extenders," so named because they need to be renewed regularly. They will next go to the full Senate for consideration.
The tax-writing House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee is set to vote on its own extenders package next week.
Most of the extenders technically expired at the end of 2013. The measure just approved would renew them retroactively, costing the federal government billions of dollars in lost revenues, to the dismay of fiscal hawks.
"What this country should be doing is overhauling the disaster of a tax code," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in a statement.
"Instead we are seeing Washington at its very worst as special interests and members of Congress run to protect their favorite tax breaks," said MacGuineas, whose group advocates for reducing the federal deficit and debt.