Although the House finally passed a bill late Tuesday night that staves off many of the catastrophic effects of the fiscal cliff, this is hardly the long-term solution lawmakers wanted. The measure, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate early Tuesday and is currently making its way to President Obama’s desk, does little to tame looming economic threats that lawmakers will have to revisit almost immediately.
In two months, House Republicans will square off with the President and congressional Democrats in what is anticipated to be another ugly battle over raising the nation’s borrowing limit. The GOP sees this “second cliff” as their leverage over entitlement and spending reforms that were not including in the Senate’s tax deal. The tactic once again risks a government shutdown.
Instead of getting the nation’s soaring debt under control, the CBO reported yesterday that the deal adds $4 trillion to national deficits over the next decade. - Read more at The Washington Post
OBAMA TO CONGRESS: NO MORE DRAMA Although the passage of the cliff bill isn’t exactly a huge triumph for the country, it was a win for the president who campaigned relentlessly on raising tax rates on the rich and finally succeeded. After the vote last night, Obama used a victory speech at the White House to let Congress know he intended to play hardball again, just as he did on taxes, and would not tolerate another ruthless, partisan battle over raising the debt ceiling.
"While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up," Obama said in remarks in the White House. - Read more at Politico
FISCAL CLIFF ENDS IN GOP CIVIL WAR While the House ended up passing the fiscal cliff bill late Tuesday night, the deal was far from certain throughout most of New Year’s Day, as the GOP struggled to find common ground. The Fiscal Times’ Josh Boak and Eric Pianin write that the House GOP engaged in a “civil war” as Republican leaders split over whether to support the Senate’s bill. Even the final vote showed that the House GOP remains divided, with Speaker Boehner voting yes, and his top deputies Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy voting no. - Read more at The Fiscal Times
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