Fiscal Bunny Slope Update and Breaking News

three stooges So, the Senate fiscal kick-the-can bill is now in the house Republican Caucus where there are two options under consideration.

The two choices: amend the bill with spending cuts – likely killing it for the 112th Congress – or vote to adopt the Senate measure and send it to President Obama for his signature.

During an evening vote series, members are being whipped on an amendment option: attaching a $328 billion spending cut measure to the Senate deal. That measure passed the House twice in 2012 on party-line votes. It reduced the deficit by $243 billion, left cuts to Medicare in place, turned off $72 billion of $109 billion in defense and non-defense spending set for 2013. The Senate throughout 2012 ignored this House measure.

When the standalone bill came up for a vote in May, it passed by 218 to 199 votes with 16 GOP “no” votes. In December, it passed 215 to 209 with 21 GOP “no” votes. Since that last vote, Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a “yes” vote, has resigned from the House to become a senator.

Sources confirmed that despite conservative grumbling about corporate tax “giveaways” in the Senate bill, tax breaks for corporations are not considered for amendment. The Senate deal contains dozens of “tax extenders” including for clean energy.

If there is more than a 217-vote majority within the Republican conference for the amended bill, it will be brought to the floor. If a majority cannot be found, the Senate deal will get an up-or-down vote, members said.

While House Republicans broadly oppose the legislation the Senate passed overwhelmingly early Tuesday morning, many of them emerged from their second closed-door meeting of the day believing that, ultimately, the House would approve the measure without amendments.

Meanwhile, stock markets around the world are on USA Economy Death Watch.   Believe me, markets will not react will to what’s going on right now–starting in about an hour–when the Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo markets open up.  Ask me why all of my money is sitting in FDIC insured bank accounts right now and not enriching my brokerage firm.  Yes, folks, it’s the House Republican Dysfunction Show!

Let me provide some background music while I explain what’s going on with the Republicans in the House.

So, what are the folks that are willing to tank-the- country over  fear of losing their seats to even more crazy people in 2 years doing now?  Well, combine that with political ambitions of Ryan, Cantor, and other “up and comers” that would cook their grandmother for the main dish at a fundraiser for their 2016 presidential bids and it’s drama worthy of any Three Stooges short.

Conservative opposition to the agreement stems from a host of issues, including the fact that the deal does not include any spending cuts, would significantly add to the nation’s deficit and raises taxes on those making more than $400,000 a year.

And Cantor’s not alone in opposing the deal: the agreement is universally disliked within Republican circles, and even Democrats in the House and Senate have voiced complaints about the deal.

The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting,” said Boehner spokesperson Brendan Buck. “Conversations with members will continue throughout the afternoon on the path forward.”

Rep. Steve LaTourette, a Boehner ally, said there were “two schools of thought” expressed in the meeting: To accept the deal and “live to fight another day,” or amend the measure and send it back to the Senate.

CNN and Twitter appear to be the sole sources of news on this at the moment.  The news readers are still recovering from the champagne brunches and aren’t working.  Mostly, CNN has turned into a breif show of representatives that want to be counted in the “I’d rather tank the country than piss off my insane base” number.  Boehner is clearly in a corner.  He appears to be the appetizer on the let’s cook granny for our fundraiser event.

Under our non-parliamentary system, the party leadership has less leverage to pressure rank-and-file members of the caucus. The result is episodes like last month’s “Plan B” fiasco, where Speaker Boehner tried and failed to pass an official Republican solution to the fiscal cliff. Democrats were unified against the bill, which they viewed as too conservative. Yet many Republicans viewed it as not conservative enough, and Boehner didn’t have any way to force them to support it.

In short, John Boehner has committed himself to a set of principles for operating the House that makes the body fundamentally dysfunctional. A functional legislative body either needs a mechanism for the majority leader to get members of his caucus to toe the party line, or he needs the ability to “reach across the aisle” to get the votes he needs from the minority. John Boehner lacks the former, and by ruling out the latter he’s effectively painted himself into a corner where he might not be able to get any piece of “fiscal cliff” legislation passed by the full House of Representatives.

It does look like the amended bill will not pass.  Most bets are that Boehner will hold an up or down on the Senate bill and the Dems will ensure its passage.  Hey house Republicans!   Feet meet your ak-47s!!!!   We’ll know more within the our after all the hand wringing and protesting too much occurs.

As your friendly resident economist, I’d just like to say that it’s apparent that there are a bunch of people in charge of our policy that did not learn the lesson of the great depression or the great recession.  They’ve also not learned the lessons of the research surrounding the Reagan years.  Every one needs to know the variables that can use to plan their finances.  Businesses and families should not be held hostage to political antics and economic policy based on wishful thinking and extremists beliefs.  This keeps repeating itself because crazy people have taken over the Republican Party.  It needs to stop.


The choice is to let an up or down vote on the Senate Bill happen within the next hour or so.  The Democratic Leadership believes they have enough Democratic votes to get it passed.  So, the thought is that the Senate bill will pass. The technical process to get the bill to the floor has started (per CNN).  The vote will be held some time around 9:00 pm.

64 Comments on “Fiscal Bunny Slope Update and Breaking News”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Thank goodness they’re going to have an up or down vote. Did you see that moron Schweiker just now on CNN? Jesus. I almost feel sorry for Boehner having to deal with these freaks.

  2. dakinikat says:

    For those of you that want to read HR8–even though I bet your congress critter has not–here it is:

  3. Fannie says:

    So much for that pound cake I was gonna bake, let’s go with the left over second time ’round rump.

    • dakinikat says:

      Next fiscal cliff comes at Valentine’s day … how many days can they take of vacation and put off until the last minute this time?

      • Fannie says:

        Dak, you and BB have done a super job here. I tell you just listening to CNN about this vote, all I can say is DON”T ask me. Ok, I’ll go for the speedy house punch with a 5th of vodka.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Ditto that

  4. bostonboomer says:

    MSNBC scuttled the prison break reruns and they’re discussing current events again.

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    If y’all want to hear the debate before the vote CSPAN is covering it live.

    Cantor is floundering among his acolytes, he and his faction of the GOP is so dysfuntional it couldn’t even muster enough support to amend the bill, not that it would have mattered anyway because an amended bill wouldn’t have succeeded in the Senate. The GOP is perhaps the finest example of a circular firing squad I’ve ever witnessed. Fire!!!!!

    • dakinikat says:

      Icky car thief and arsonist Issa is talking.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I can’t face watching those numbskulls, but if you keep updating, I’d be thrilled.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        By the way BB, I agree with your post that this bill is better than nothing there are actually some redeeming elements. I also agree that there is a game of 3 dimensional chess going on here and I think if Boehner can survive the coup-fella’s and what’s coming at him from his right he might come out of this in a stronger position. Hell, he couldn’t get in a much weaker position, could he.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Darrell hotwire Issa is telling the House why he isn’t going to vote for the bill. Whodathunkit?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Pelosi is rising in support of the bill. Unlike Boehner and his rising coup fella’s Cantor & Ryan.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Unlike Boehner and his rising coup fella’s Cantor & Ryan, Pelosi is actually in control of her caucus.

      • RalphB says:

        Pelosi is overselling this dog of a deal though. It’s hardly a breakthrough of any sort.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Pelosi is a lemonade out of lemons person. The consummate pragmatist, that’s just her nature.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Here we go 218 needed for passage

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Luke Russert reports that Boehner voted yes.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    The bill has passed the House.

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    It’s a done deal

  10. Silent Kate says:

    Such drama. Now what’s the next oil day they will screw up?

    • bostonboomer says:

      That gives Obama some leverage to demand more tax reform, e.g. carried interest exception. Get rid of that and then give something back to the 77%.

      • RalphB says:

        Do I trust these people to reform the tax code? I guess so since they would have to work very hard to make it worse than it is now and I believe they’re too lazy for that.

        Maybe we should stop social engineering via the tax code and put in place a progressive system with no deductions of any kind?

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Michelle Malkin ‏@michellemalkin

    Toast. MT @rebeccagberg Paul Ryan on why he voted for the deal: “When you like something, you vote for it. …I wasn’t afraid.”
    Retweeted by Josh Marshall