update: Perhaps the House Boys aren’t completely verklempt:
A carefully-crafted Senate compromise to avert the fiscal cliff could be in jeopardy, as House Republicans seem nearly certain to tweak the legislation and send it back to the Senate because it doesn’t contain sufficient spending cuts.
The anger came to a head in a closed House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol basement Monday, when opposition to the bill — which would extend tax rates for families making less than $450,000 — was overwhelming, sources inside the room said.
House Republican leadership dispersed from the meeting mulling how to proceed with the Senate bill, which passed shortly after 2 a.m. Republicans are expected to meet again later Tuesday afternoon to try and settle on a decision.
In a real sign of trouble, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, No. 2 in House leadership, came out against the package.
update 2: Has some sanity occurred in the Senate? Not enough to stop their taxmageddon proposal that’s now in the House, but still. Good for Colorado!
A Colorado Democrat handpicked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to helm the party’s 2014 campaign effort was one of the eight “no” votes against the fiscal cliff deal last night.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Ken Salazar’s appointment to the Interior Department in 2009. He won his first full term in 2010, and was named to chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last month.
Bennet’s vote flummoxed Dems on Twitter after the late-night session. In a statement, the senator said he wouldn’t agree to anything that adds to the deficit.
“Washington once again has lived up to its reputation as the ‘Land of Flickering Lights,’” Bennet said. “For four years in my townhall meetings across the state Coloradans have told me they want a plan that materially reduces the deficit. This proposal does not meet that standard and does not put in place a real process to reduce the debt down the road.”
Update 3: $1 trillion in tax loopholes left in Fiscal Cliff “solution”:
The Congressional Research Service said there are more than 200 tax expenditures, totaling $1.1 trillion in revenue that the government otherwise would have collected this year. That sum is larger than the projected deficit for the year.
Among the breaks in the deal are several tax cuts to boost biofuels and other renewable energy, at a cost of more than $18 billion over the next decade; tax credits for adoption, valued at $759 million; a $10,000 tax credit for training mine rescue teams, expected to cost the government $5 million; and a credit for businesses to offset the salaries they pay to members of the military reserves who are called up for active duty.
One of the more contentious breaks is $200 million to continue the “cover over” subsidy paid to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for their rum industries.
This “solution” is more of the same – a train wreck.
OK – we’ve kept quiet, by and large, on the Fiscal Cliff issue, mostly because we didn’t see anything good coming of it – from either side of the isle.
And in this respect, the Senate’s “solution” is even worse than our already-low expectations:
The “fiscal cliff” deal that was designed to save money actually includes $330.3 billion in new spending over the next decade, according to the official estimate the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday afternoon.
CBO said the bill contains about $25.1 billion in new cuts, but those are swamped by the new spending on extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and other new refundable tax credits that President Obama fought for.
Of those cuts, only $2 billion are scheduled to take effect in 2013.
And CBO also warned that some of the cuts Congress is counting are from programs on which CBO never expected the money to be spent anyway — such as cuts to the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan, which was part of Mr. Obama’s health care law.
All told, the bill deepens the deficit by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade, when the new tax cuts and spending are combined.
The bill also delays by two months the automatic spending cuts slated to take effect Wednesday, with a promise to reduce spending in the future to cover for them.
“A promise to reduce spending in the future to cover for them.” These simpletons must have a lower opinion of us, than we of them. When is the last time such a promise was kept – or expected to be? And with this Administration…madness.
And we’re not even going into the Constitutional issues surrounding a spending bill originating in the Senate…more madness.
It is interesting to note that, while some of the Senate’s more fiscally conservative members voted for this “solution,” Marco Rubio didn’t.
OK House Tea Partiers. Time to take out the trash.