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December 20, 2012

A Look At Today's House Votes

Today the House will vote on two bills designed to avert both components of the fiscal cliff. It's a smart play by Speaker Boehner and his caucus to pass this legislation and then head home for the holidays as it looks increasingly likely that President Obama has no intention of negotiating.

The first bill, the Spending Reduction Act of 2012 (PDF: H.R. 6684), replaces the automatic sequestration cuts with alternative spending cuts and reforms, mainly to avoid the nasty defense cuts in the original sequester. It also cuts the Obamacare slush fund, the failed HAMP mortgage reform effort, and reforms food stamps and the child refundable tax credit. The bill reduces the deficit by an additional $242 billion over the original sequester.

The second bill, the Permanent Tax Relief for Families and Small Businesses Act of 2012 (PDF: H.J. Res. 66), is what we've been calling 'Plan B.' It permanently extends current tax rates for everyone making less than $1 million, so no more of having to re-fight the same battles over and over every time the tax rates expire. It has a permanent AMT fix, which conservative have been seeking since time out of mind. The Joint Committee on Taxation says that Plan B amounts to about a $3.9 trillion tax cut.

The House GOP should pass these bills and go home. We're not going to get anything from President Obama, despite a good-faith effort to avert economic disaster. Let him own a decision to raise taxes on 99.81% of Americans.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:44 AM

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