This thing ain’t done yet.
Speaker John Boehner is leaving the fate of the Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal in the hands of the House Republican Conference.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s
(R-Calif.) vote-counting operation is kicking into full gear on Tuesday night — after the country has officially gone off the cliff — to gauge whether 218 Republicans would support amending the Senate bill with a package of spending cuts
If there aren’t enough House Republicans who vote to tack on spending cuts, the House will hold an up-or-down vote on the Senate cliff bill that hikes tax rates on income over $450,000.
But an amendment is not expected garner 218 Republicans and the Senate bill will likely come up for a vote on Tuesday evening. If that passes, the Senate bill would likely pass the House — with the heavy help of House Democrats — paving the way for the cliff deal to become law, as President Barack Obama has said he would sign it.
If the Senate deal was amended, it would prolong the cliff crisis as Senate Democrats have said they won’t take up an amended bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden reached a deal that was passed by the Senate early Tuesday morning, and without an agreement, the nation’s recovering economy could be shaken by hiking tax rates on all Americans and maintaining steep federal spending cuts.
The Tuesday evening move is classic Boehner — he always says he wants the House Republican Conference to work its will, and he’s letting the 241 members decide the fate of tax rates for all Americans.