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Monday, December 31, 2012

Senate ‘Almost There’ but Hold On: House Has “no Plans” for Vote Tonight

     It’s not clear where this is coming from. Is it gamesmanship? The GOP is in a pique of hurt feelings based on some early afternoon bluster by the President. They are claiming that Obama’s statement that the sequester cuts will not be done only with spending cuts-but more revenue-they are now suggesting may be a deal killer.

    “With hours remaining to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama said a deal is “within sight” and urged lawmakers to come together to avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in on Tuesday.”

     “But his midday press conference, with a group of middle-class Americans looking on, was not without a bit of bravado as well. Obama took multiple shots at Congress for its clumsiness in negotiations and insisted that he’d demand more tax hikes if the legislative body used the impending debt ceiling standoff to demand spending cuts.”

      “In the process, the president irked several Republican aides, who suggested that the entire fiscal cliff deal had been complicated because of his tone and criticism.”

     “Potus just moved the goalpost again. Significantly. This is new,” tweeted a top aide to McConnell.

      “Doug Heye, a spokesman for House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), tweeted, “If Obama’s goal was to harm the process and make going over the cliff more likely, he’s succeeding.” Another Cantor spokesperson said, “So….I’m confused….does POTUS want a deal or not? Because all those jabs at Congress certainly sounded like a smack in the face to me.”

    Yeah I now I have a little tear in my eye!

    “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the president “sent a message of confrontation” to Republicans, who could be voting on a deal in the next 24 hours. “I’m not sure … whether to be angry or to be saddened,” he added.

    “A source close to House Republican leadership went even further, telling HuffPost that the lower chamber was in revolt over Obama’s remarks and that the deal could blow up because of them

     To me this should be stored under “You’re kidding, right?!” I mean your going to blow up a deal that will hurt so many Americans because you’re feelings are hurt? Still, for whatever reason, the House GOP claims not to have any plans for a vote tonight, regardless of whether a bill passes in the Senate:

      “A notice from the House Majority Whip’s office indicates Republicans have no plans to hold a vote on any Senate-passed legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.”

       “There will be a Special GOP Conference Meeting at 5:00 p.m. in HC-5,” according to the alert. “Immediately following Conference tonight, roughly 5:30-6:00 p.m. we will have our first and only vote series of the day on suspensions.”

      “To translate, the House is only planning to vote on a handful of scheduled, non-controversial measures this evening. They plan to leave tonight whether or not the Senate passes a bill to avoid the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at midnight. That means that unless the GOP’s plans change, then starting at midnight, the revenue baseline resets to a pre-Bush tax cut baseline, and any fiscal cliff legislation becomes a tax cut.”

     “The consequences for the shape of any deal are potentially huge, but still unclear.

     From what I understand, the House has been suggesting that they could get a deal done by January 2-which still might be in time…
     So the plot thickens, My suspicion: it’s more gamesmanship. I’ve always thought a deal would happen, though I’ve had my doubts over the last 5 days. I still think we will. I’ll be glad when we know one way or the other though.

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