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January 01, 2013

Signs Of Backbone From House Republicans? UPDATE: Cantor Opposes The Senate Bill?

Both parties held caucus meetings today that are just breaking up. Joe Biden went to whip and rally the Democrats, while John Boehner said he was "in listening mode" and won't commit to support or oppose the Senate bill.

Now there's talk that the GOP will bring up the Senate's bill and amend it. No word on what that would entail from a policy perspective but it would mean the bill would have to go back to the Senate again.

One of the major problems with the Senate deal is it doesn't address spending cuts. As currently constructed the "tax only" portion of the cliff deal increases the debt by nearly $4 TRILLION over 10 years.

I think (I'm not a budget wonk) that is because under the baseline assumptions all the Bush rates were going to expire and by keeping them in place for those making under $400,000 all of that "lost" revenue is now counted as part of the deficit.

As an aside, baseline budgeting is horrible.

So what the GOP would get from the tax only deal is keeping the current rates for people under $400,000/year but getting tagged as tax hikers for anyone above that. Then Obama gets to come back and force the GOP to agree to the liberal idea that "tax cuts" (which they aren't, it's just continuing the rates as they have been for 12 years) have to be "paid for".

Of course the GOP will have no more leverage in two months than they do now, so it's very possible that the GOP loses its "tax cut" brand AND sees trillions added to the debt.

Obama never wanted a deal. This isn't about taxes and spending, it's about destroying the GOP. Unbelievably, it's an open question as to whether the GOP will continue to take part in it.

There's going to be another GOP caucus sometime today before Boehner decides how to proceed.

Will the GOP finally wise up or is this just bluster before the meek walk to their execution?

Update: Hmmmmmmmm

Rep Spencer Bacchus, R-AL, says consensus is building in GOP House meeting to amend cliff bill and send it back to Sen w/some spending cuts.

Well this is very interesting, very interesting.

Per republicans, cantor is opposing the fiscal cliff bill during GOP conference. Boehner laying out "options." Not good signs at all

Cantor has literally stood side by side with Boehner throughout this process. People took that to mean that there was no way he'd challenge for the Speakership but if they split here? This might force Boehner into opposing the plan (if he wasn't predisposed to do that anyway).

Layers and layers.

Side note: People keep saying that revenue raising bills must originate in the House not the Senate. This is true BUT...the bill the Senate passed last night was H.R. 8 which passed the House and sent to the Senate for consideration. What the Senate did was "amend" it (which the Constitution allows) and sent it back. Now the Senate "amendment" was a complete substitution but that's been done before.

You may not like it but it's perfectly acceptable according the Constitution.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:33 PM

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