House GOP charts course toward passing Senate deal

January 1, 2013

House Republicans reversed course Tuesday evening and moved toward the likely passage of the bipartisan agreement struck in the Senate to avoid the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff’’, setting up a late night vote to complete a wild day in which the critical legislation appeared to be on its political deathbed for several hours.

In a second huddle Tuesday, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) outlined the options for handling the Senate plan while explaining the high "risk" involved with approving a different bill that might die in the other chamber, according to lawmakers exiting the evening meeting.

Such an outcome could make the House GOP the public face of a failed effort to avert the fiscal cliff and possibly cause a public revolt as taxes on every American worker would jump.

As they exited the meeting, a broad consensus emerged that Boehner's team should just bring up the Senate bill, negotiated by Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.), rather than try to amend a large package of roughly $330 billion in spending cuts to accompany the bill back across the Capitol for an uncertain fate.

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Ed O'Keefe | January 1, 2013