It looks like there may finally some movement on a deal to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, with about 12 hours until the existing tax rates expire:
Senior GOP aide: Biden-McConnell agree on biggest cliff-talks issue: Clinton-era 39.6% top rate for indiv above $400K, couples above $450K.
—John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) 31 Dec 12
President Obama held a press conference to announce that a deal was close (although not reached) at this point, and urging for action (all the while seeming to sabotage the effort for personal political purposes, we can surmise). Without re-hashing the issue of whether or not Obama and the Democrats are negotiating in good faith, it appears as though an agreement on the tax part has been reached (although worse than the panned “Plan B” from the House); with other parts (noticibly not spending cuts) still to be hammered out.
Probably the most notable thing about this tentative McConnell-Biden deal is that what once seemed hopeless ended up getting done once Harry Reid was removed from the negotiating table. If you’re reading this, it probably comes as no surprise that Harry Reid has acted as Chief Obstructionist on Capital Hill, all the while blaming Republicans as the party of “no”. He has refused to allow votes on jobs legislation passed in the House, refused to pass a budget for four years, and generally blocked any attempt at legislating, if it did not fit the Democrat agenda:
In other words, while blasting Republican “obstructionism,” Reid is plotting systematic obstructionism throughout the coming months. This is spelled h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y.
Whether the deal gets done and voted on by both houses of Congress, or if it isn’t signed until tomorrow; whether you like the fact that a deal was reached or prefer to “Let It Burn”, it is interesting to note that a deal could finally be reached once a bad senator with too much power (c’mon Nevada, get your act together!) was removed from the process. The media reporting this fact and informing the American public…that’s a different story.
Depsite the closed-door deal-making, it appears that there won’t be any votes held in the House today. So, it looks like D.C. has made a New’s Year’s Resolution to go cliff diving:
House continues to wait for Senate to act on #fiscalcliff. @GOPWhip has advised Members to stay near Capitol in case of further votes.
—Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) 31 Dec 12
With a vote likely for tomorrow while the markets are closed, expect business as usual on January 2; with no spending cuts in this deal, and who-knows-what happening with the debt ceiling (except that real spending cuts will likely not be a part of any deal), expect more of the same over the next four years.