It looks like the Republicans Establishment has given the shaft to Conservatives…again. Last night, they accepted a deal to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, by signing off on legislation that adds $41 of taxes for ever $1 of Spending Cuts.
FoxNews.com has the story:
Congress gave its final approval Tuesday to a bill halting massive tax hikes and delaying a risky round of spending cuts, sending the package to the president’s desk and likely averting for now an economy-stalling fiscal crisis. President Obama said he would sign it.
The 257-167 vote in the House came after a day of high drama on Capitol Hill, during which conservative House lawmakers voiced serious concern about the Senate bill’s lack of spending cuts. Rank-and-file Republicans initially predicted they would tinker with the package, raising the possibility the Senate would abandon it and nothing would get done before the new congressional class is seated Thursday.
But House leaders soon learned they did not have a majority behind any spending-cut plan, and allowed the straight vote. Far more Democrats supported the final bill than Republicans.
The result, once Obama signs it, is that tax hikes that technically kicked in Jan. 1 for most Americans would largely be halted.
Obama, speaking at the White House shortly before midnight, thanked Vice President Biden for his role in negotiating with the Senate a day earlier on the compromise package. The president, as did Republicans on the Hill, cautioned that the bill will precede a broader debate in 2013 about deficit reduction.
“This law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody”, he said.
House Speaker John Boehner said shortly after the vote that Congress must now turn its attention to spending.
“The American people re-elected a Republican majority in the House, and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the `balanced’ approach he promised, meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt.”
The bill passed by Congress would nix the 2013 tax increases for families making under $450,000, while letting rates rise for those making above that threshold. It would also extend unemployment insurance for another year, while patching up a host of other expiring provisions and delaying automatic spending cuts for two months. Those cuts, which would hit defense heavily, will instead be offset with a blend of tax increases and other spending cuts.
Americans will still see a 2-point increase this month in their Social Security tax, as Congress did not opt to extend that payroll tax holiday.
Political Pundit Dr. Charles Krauthammer believes that the Democrats mopped the floor with the Republicans.
“Look, there are a lot of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House who hate the bill for good reason. This is a complete surrender on everything,” he said about the ratio of tax hike to spending cuts.
On Fox’s “Special Report,” Krauthammer offered his prediction on how House Republican leadership will proceed.
”I think what is likely to happen is that the leadership is going to look to get the 218 that it could secure to send the bill back to the Senate with equal number of spending cuts,” he said. “If they don’t get it, (House Speaker John) Boehner will have an open vote, unwhipped, Republicans will vote as they wish. They will probably be enough with all the Democrats to pass this.”
Moderate Republican Pundit Bill Kristol thinks that Congressional Republicans should just take what they’re given and move on.
…Working Americans making less than $400,000 will be shocked when they find that, contrary to promises from both parties, their taxes are in fact going up (the payroll tax). And we will face another cliff when we hit the debt ceiling and the sequester again in two months.
The deal is a sad commentary on our politics today.
On the other hand, the deal is substantively better than going over the cliff and having all income and investment taxes go up, and having the defense sequester hit right away. And politically, Republicans are escaping with a better outcome than they might have expected, and President Obama has gotten relatively little at his moment of greatest strength. In particular, this should do it for new tax revenues, at a number lower than Speaker Boehner originally offered—and it should be pretty easy to have the next debate focus on spending and entitlements.
So, enough House Republicans should vote yes to get the bill passed. And then immediately move on. For Republicans and conservatives need to get serious about what, substantively, they want to stand for over the next few years; about what, practically, they think they can accomplish during Obama’s second term; and about what, politically, their strategy and tactics are for dealing with President Obama and for laying the groundwork for victories in 2014 and 2016. This is the task for the new year, once we get past this dog’s breakfast on New Year’s Day.
And, in the meantime, Skippy, your fellow Moderate Republicans are punishing the small business owners who actually create obs and employ Americans. How in the cotton-pickin’ world, do you Vichy Republicans think that “reaching across the aisle” and going along with this “Tax and Spend Some More” piece of garbage stopgap measure will accomplish anything, except embolden an ego-maniacal president to further tax America into a full-blown Depression?
I’m glad you guys weren’t at Bastogne during World War II. You would have surrendered.
As a member of the ignored Conservative Base, you know what I have to say about your spines of Jello and your acquiescence to the Democrats?
Until He Comes,