The New Year's Day drama in the House of Representatives over whether or not to send the nation over the fiscal
curb is over. The House passed the Senate bill
in a vote of 257-167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting for it.
The House crazies had their hissy fit, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and blustered about killing the bill. But, in the end, they couldn't do it. Not after Grover Norquist blessed it, and not after they figured out what Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) realized.
TOM COLE: Again, I would prefer not to raise taxes on anybody. But we protected almost every American. We did it at a higher income level than the President campaigned on. And again, frankly, we’ve denied him I think his most important piece of leverage in any negotiation going forward. So I particularly like that part. [...] The entitlement issue, just too much to deal with I think in one piece of legislation. But again, still sequester is in front of us. The continuing resolution runs out the end of march and obviously the debt ceiling. All of those things honestly are Republican leverage not Democratic so I think there will be opportunities to deal with the spending issue next year. Honestly I expect that will be the dominant issue along with trying to overhaul the tax code going forward. So that’s usually pretty good ground for Republicans.
You think this week was mind-numbingly tedious and frustrating and ridiculous and horrible? Wait two months for the next fiscal
curb, which will now have the bonus awfulness of a debt ceiling fight. So in addition to this manufactured sequester crisis which Congress has just put off for 60 days, we'll have the very real and much more serious added risk of government shutdown and financial collapse.
8:04 PM PT (Barbara Morrill):
So. McCarthy and Cantor are no votes. Boehner and Ryan are yes votes. Hastert rule is broken. Bill passes.
— @samsteinhp via TweetDeck
8:40 PM PT (Barbara Morrill): President Obama just made a statement on the House passage of the fiscal cliff bill, which beyond the huzzahs for bipartisanship contained this warning:
One last point I want to make. While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they've passed. Let me repeat, we can't not pay bills that we already incurred.
So a line in the sand on the upcoming debt limit debate. Stay tuned.