So, after the Senate was denied New Year's Eve celebrations so they could draft a bill to avert the cliff, House Republicans spent the day throwing a tantrum because they weren't getting what they want. But they're going to go to a vote tonight and the Senate's cliff deal is expected to pass.
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In meetings this afternoon, House GOP members led by Eric Cantor voiced their displeasure with the Senate's fiscal cliff deal. Their chief concern was not getting as many spending cuts as they had hoped. For a moment, it seemed like the plan was going to be to amend the Senate's bill, which would then have to pass the House and then go through the Senate again. The problem with that would be the markets opening tomorrow. Because the U.S. technically has gone over the cliff, the expected reactions in the markets would be... not good. Not good at all.
But! There's always a but. Once Republicans added the spending cuts to the Senate's bill, there wasn't enough support to pass it. They didn't even like the bill they could come up with that included spending cuts. It became clear the Senate wasn't going to take any House-edited version of their bill. They were caught playing with fire and becoming dangerously close to burning not only themselves, but the rest of the country, too.
So, John Boehner reportedly told Republicans he would personally vote yes on the Senate bill brokered by Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden if they couldn't get enough support to pass the amended bill. Now Buzzfeed's John Stanton and Rebecca Greenberg report Boehner plans to abandon the Hastert rule, which is the long-standing tradition of not introducing a bill to the floor without enough Republican support to pass it, to force an up-and-down vote. This is a big deal, because it shows there's major rifts in Republican leadership right now.
The fiscal cliff deal is expected to pass. The vote won't be until around 11 p.m., maybe even closer to midnight, when we're all (hopefully) tucked in bed. By the time you wake up tomorrow this national nightmare, for now, should be over.
- Politics & Government