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UPDATE: House Republicans Reconsider Amendment for Spending Cuts; Expect to Vote on Senate Bill Tonight

by Tanya Domi on January 1, 2013

in Economics,News,Tanya Domi

  House Republicans who strongly opposed the Senate compromise on the fiscal cliff want $300 billion in spending cuts but don’t have 218 votes, so will most likely take up a vote on the Senate bill tonight

Media are reporting this evening that while a majority of  House Republicans are opposed to the Senate compromise bill passed early this morning to advert the “fiscal cliff,” the House will hold a scheduled vote this evening, most likely after 9 p.m.

House Speaker John Boehner cautioned the Republican caucus earlier this afternoon, indicating that if they wanted to amend the Senate bill by adding $300 billion in spending cuts, there was no guarantee that the Senate would take up the bill for another vote. Thus, if Republicans failed to adopt the Senate compromise measure tonight, it would leave them in a negative political situation because most Americans would be confronted with an increase in personal income taxes and many popular government programs would be slashed overnight.

Apparently, Boehner decided he had to hear out his caucus on their desire for spending cuts, but his leadership team failed to whip 217 votes from the Republican caucus.

The focus shifted to Boehner today after he was forced to punt the effort to the Senate when he was not able to pass a House bill last month.  Now considered one of the weakest House Speakers in modern history, he has  repeatedly failed to garner support from the Republican caucus for grand bargains with President Obama throughout his two-year tenure.

Nonetheless, the past few days of extraordinary Congressional business during the holidays, reflects a marked polarization between the political parties–ideologically and  philosophically– that have hampered the U.S. credit rating and consumer confidence with a continuous environment of fiscal unpredictability since the ascension of a Republican majority dominated by Tea Party members two years ago.

The immediate future appears to be more of the same with the prospect of dealing with an unresolved debt ceiling  agreement–now referred to as the “Valentine’s Day Cliff” and the mandatory sequestration fiscal cuts facing the Congress in March, now referred to as “The St. Patrick’s Day Cliff.”

Be prepared to develop a strong stomach for the fights to come.

*************

Breaking news indicates that the House Republican caucus strongly opposes the American Tax Payer Relief Act, overwhelmingly passed by the Senate early this morning, due to insufficient spending cuts.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced he opposes the bill, increasing the likelihood of House amendments to the existing measure and also significantly diminishes a quick, short-term fix, as intended by the White House and the U.S. Senate.

A House amended bill would force a second vote by the Senate and would need to be accomplished before Noon on Thursday, the official start of the 113th Congress.

While the bill has been formally sent to the Houes, Speaker John Boehner has not been brought it to the House Floor for debate.  Both Republicans and Democrats have been in meetings most of the day.  Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called for an up or down vote.

On the first day of the New Year, Americans are staring into an economic abyss, while the U.S. House of Representatives is “burning down its house”! So in the spirit, we present Linkin Park’s song “Burn it Down”! Where does this end?

 

H/T to Peri Jude Radecic , a New Civil Rights Movement reader, on Linkin’ Park’s song “Burning It Down”

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Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement blog.  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia.  Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues.  She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL.  Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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