Reid: Yeah, a fiscal cliff deal probably isn’t happening at this point

posted at 1:31 pm on December 27, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

President Obama arrived back in DC on Thursday morning after having cut short his vacation in Hawaii, following late-night calls with top Congressional leaders:

Obama made calls from Hawaii late Wednesday to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said. Obama was seeking an update on the state of fiscal cliff talks before departing on an overnight flight back to Washington, Brundage said.

The White House provided no details about the conversations. The House is in recess pending action in the Senate, which convened Thursday amid a sense of gloom about chances for a deal to avert more than $500 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes set to hit in January.

McConnell “is happy to review what the president has in mind, but to date, the Senate Democrat majority has not put forward a plan,” a spokesman for the Republican leader said. “When they do, members on both sides of the aisle will review the legislation and make decisions on how best to proceed.”

And of course, this morning we were treated to the usual cockeyed floor rant from Harry Reid about how, if Speaker Boehner would only stop ruling with such an iron fist, the version of Obama’s cliff proposal he wants to see happen would undoubtedly pass with the requisite centrist-Republican votes it would need.

Senator Harry Reid delivers a statement on the fiscal cliff condemning the actions of Republican leadership, saying he “can’t imagine their consciences. They are out there, wherever they are … and we’re here trying to get something done.”

“Everyone knows that if they had brought up the Senate-passed bill, it would pass overwhelmingly. But the speaker says, no we can’t do that,” Reid said on the Senate floor this morning. “It’s [the House] being operated by a dictatorship of the speaker.”

In response, a spokesman for Boehner said in a statement,  “Senator Reid should talk less and legislate more. The House has already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff.  Senate Democrats have not.”

While the barb-trading about to whom the real onus belongs is to be expected, I don’t know about Reid’s point about the clock just running too short; we still have almost five days to go to make a deal, and with all of the deep-seated political fallout at stake here, a ‘compromise’ probably wasn’t ever going to happen until the eleventh hour when the political pressure was maxed out. That said, the possibility of going over the cliff is gaining its own momentum, and as reliably eager as Reid is to put all of the blame on Republicans, he could easily make more of his own moves if he had any real desire:

“The House has acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. Those bills await action by the Senate,” House GOP leaders said in their statement. “If the Senate will not approve and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the House. Once this has occurred, the House will then consider whether to accept the bills as amended or to send them back to the Senate with additional amendments. The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act. The lines of communication remain open, and we will continue to work with our colleagues to avert the largest tax hike in American history.” …

The intransigence of both sides has made a deal against the clock seem increasingly unlikely. But if anything gets brokered, it likely now has to come from the Senate, where Reid and McConnell largely negotiated the August 2011 debt deal that helped bring Congress into the situation it finds itself now. Senate Republican aides suggested McConnell might get involved in talks but that Senate Democrats have to bring something else to the table than the tax bill they’re pushing.


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Comment pages: 1 2

…And I mean a real troll, as in the type that is in violation of the terms of service, not the overused “troll” refrain that is the last resort of the loser of a political debate.

FloatingRock on December 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM

If you think I’m a public sector employee then you obviously don’t know anything about me and are just pulling an insult out of your butt. You are a typical Romney-fanatic dirt bag who can’t win a debate and whose only recourse is lame, petty insults.

FloatingRock on December 27, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Speaking of things in and of your butt, how long have you and “Honda” been dating? And I must say, our defense of your apparent paramour here has been almost manly.

M240H on December 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM

M240H on December 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM

What is this, kindergarten?

FloatingRock on December 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM

M240H on December 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I know you are, but what am I?

(Is that what you were hoping for?)

FloatingRock on December 27, 2012 at 7:20 PM

M240H on December 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM
I know you are, but what am I?

(Is that what you were hoping for?)

FloatingRock on December 27, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The thing about libs and government workers is that you are never satisfied until you control 100% of others lives. You already control 80%+ of the media, DC, all of the regulatory and IRS and about 10% of the geographic land mass of the US.

However, you, and you ilk, must troll on every conservative blog and website as if it’s the most important thing you do. However, I guess when you are a SEIU employee and you clear twice what the average private sector worker does and answer to no one other than some bureaucrat who also has a job for life and answers to no one then “work” has a little different definition.

acyl72 on December 28, 2012 at 7:50 AM

my goodness it looks like my new BFF can’t let go…nanny nanny boo boo FloatingRock, after telling me at 3:57 pm yesterday that she doesn’t care what I think I see I got four or five more mentions until sometime after 7 pm. Reminds me of my first girlfriend in the 5th grade.

Anyway, back to the topic and in response to:

JPeterman on December 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

There was no budget bill voted for in the senate in July. Harry Reid held a non-binding sense of the senate vote on rising taxes on those making over $250k and is referencing that in the video. Here is Boehner’s response, which I fully endorse.

“The House has acted on two bills that collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff. We passed HR 8 at the beginning of August to stop all of the tax rate increases that are set to occur on Jan. 1 under current law. And we’ve passed legislation to replace the entire sequester with responsible spending cuts,” Boehner said according to a source on the call. “These bills await action by the Senate. And as I, Eric, Kevin and Cathy said yesterday in a joint statement: If the Senate will not approve these bills and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the House. Once this has occurred, the House will then consider whether to accept the bills as amended, or to send them back to the Senate with additional amendments. The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass — but the Senate must act.”

DanMan on December 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 2