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After Conservative Revolt, the House Clears Fiscal Cliff Deal

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: fiscal cliff, politics, democrats, republicans, americans, government, news, obama )

- 1361 days ago -
Despite a day of griping and intrigue among Republicans, the House sends President Obama a Senate deal to cancel a spate of fiscal discomfort

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John B. (194)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 4:00 am
Thanks Cal for the link to the article by Peter Weber. I had said in an earlier comment on another post that I didn't think the Speaker could get the deal passed but I was proven wrong. While I am not completely please with the bill I'll take it. The coming months though will be very worth watching to see how the other issues are handled. Read and noted

Carol H. (229)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 10:33 am
noted, thanks Cal

Billie C. (2)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 4:46 pm
obama left town and didn't sign the bill. now it's either he flies back, they fly the bill to him or he does auto signing. the man is the biggest money waster i've ever seen.
the only reason he was there to begin with was to make sure his election buyers got paid back. they sure got that. that bill is full of pork.

Dorothy N. (63)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 12:00 am
Republican hissy fit leads to order from the Speaker to shut down Congress without dealing with the bill for the relief of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Everything, all of the information and paperwork, was prepared - and the desperate need of the Sandy victims delayed yet again, by Congress.

Watch the video...

The Sandy Funding Fail

By David Weigel

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013

Count me among the people surprised that the House recessed yesterday without doing anything on potential funding for Hurricane Sandy relief. In the building, the punt came as a surprise in two ways. One: Those not from the Northeast had developed fiscal cliff tunnel vision, and gone days without mentioning the relief package. Two: Members expected to file out of the House and go home stuck around, engaging in high-class histrionics about the failure to move on the bill. ...

In the meantime, people stricken by disaster are homeless, jobless, cold and hungry - gee, I guess that covers a lot of America in the aftermath of Republican/corporate policy, not just Sandy victims...

GOP Leaders Delay Sandy Relief, Angering Northeast Lawmakers

By Kerry Young
Roll Call Staff
Jan. 1, 2013, 12:24 p.m.

Northeast lawmakers and Democratic leaders were in an uproar late Tuesday after the House held its final votes of the 112th Congress without acting on a relief bill for states damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Minority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said Majority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., had virtually promised a vote on the relief bill before this Congress ends on Thursday. He called on Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to reconsider the decision.

New York Republican Peter King called the action a betrayal of trust.

It is truly heartless that the House will not even allow the Sandy bill to come to the floor for a vote, and Speaker Boehner should reconsider his ill-advised decision, said New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer. ...

... The Senate passed a $60.4 billion disaster relief measure on Dec. 28, but without House action that bill will die when the new Congress begins.

A Republican House aide confirmed that the Senate bill will not come to the House floor either on its own or in a two-step process that was crafted to address concerns over the bill.

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, RKy., said he is ready to move the bill as soon as he gets a go-ahead from the leadership, but he said that will not happen on Wednesday. ...

Chris Christie Versus Every Single Republican Spending Cut Argument

By David Weigel


Posted Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013

Gov. Chris Christie's afternoon press conference was everything you could expect or hope for from the guy. For 20-odd minutes, he lit into "the House majority and its Speaker, John Boehner," for telling him "as late as last night, 9 o'clock," that there'd be a vote moving forward the Hurricane Sandy relief bills. Egged on by reporters -- who could blame them? -- Christie ridiculed the "palace intrigue" and the "fake" crisis that had occupied Washington. ...

... UPDATE: Boehner's office now pledges a Friday vote on the smaller chunk of Sandy relief -- $9 billion for flood insurance -- then more votes on January 15. Because the current Congress ceases to exist at 11:59 a.m. tomorrow, the new House bill will have to be passed in the Senate, too, then auto-penned by Obama.

Maybe they can't be shamed into doing the right thing, but there do seem to be SOME latent political survival instincts within the ego-shell surrounding the GOP...

Dorothy N. (63)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 12:03 am
That last sentence is mine, not part of the article, btw, in case of confusion.

Lynn Squance (236)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 12:08 am
I guess now it is the 'wait and see' of the debt ceiling. Will Republican/Teabaggers risk a credit rating downgrade again for purely ideological reasons?

paul m. (93)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 6:20 am

Politics ,,,,The talks will go on and on and on ,,,in the meantime you'll pay for the blunders...

John Gregoire (293)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 6:25 am
How much is Obama's vacation costing us? He can't even hang around to sign this pork bill! Sometimes I think we have a robo president.

As to the bill it has created permanent pork spending in the billions of dollars. No, not for Sandy aid but for real Democrat needs like race tracks, boondoggle offsdets for wind industry and several other slices of pue pork. In toto the deficit is now much worse. Gee thanks guys and who voted for these idiots???? The liberal commentors should look close to home.

Nancy L. (141)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 7:04 am
As usual John you are dead on target

John Gregoire (293)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:19 am
Here's how the President and some Dems and reps put the PORK in this bill!

The "fiscal cliff" legislation passed this week included $76 billion in special-interest tax credits for the likes of General Electric, Hollywood and even Captain Morgan. But these subsidies weren't the fruit of eleventh-hour lobbying conducted on the cliff's edge -- they were crafted back in August in a Senate committee, and they sat dormant until the White House reportedly insisted on them this week.

The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, which passed through the Senate Finance Committee in August, was copied and pasted into the fiscal cliff legislation, yielding a victory for biotech companies, wind-turbine-makers, biodiesel producers, film studios -- and their lobbyists. So, if you're wondering how algae subsidies became part of a must-pass package to avert the dreaded fiscal cliff, credit the Biotechnology Industry Organization's lobbying last summer.

Some tax lobbyists mostly ignored the August bill "because they thought it would be just a political document," one K Streeter told me. "They were the ones that got bit in the butt."

Here's what happened: In late July, Finance Chairman Max Baucus announced the committee would soon convene to craft a bill extending many expiring tax credits. This attracted lobbyists like a raw steak attracts wolves.

Former Sens. John Breaux, D-La., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., a pair of rainmaker lobbyists, pleaded for extensions on behalf of a powerful lineup of clients.

General Electric and Citigroup, for instance, hired Breaux and Lott to extend a tax provision that allows multinational corporations to defer U.S. taxes by moving profits into offshore financial subsidiaries. This provision -- known as the "active financing exception" -- is the main tool GE uses to avoid nearly all U.S. corporate income tax.

Liquor giant Diageo also retained Breaux and Lott to win extensions on two provisions benefitting rum-making in Puerto Rico.

The K Street firm Capitol Tax Partners, led by Treasury Department alumni from the Clinton administration, represented an even more impressive list of tax clients, who paid CTP more than $1.68 million in the third quarter.

Besides financial clients like Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, CTP represented green energy companies like GE and the American Wind Energy Association. These companies won extension and expansion of the production tax credit for wind energy.

Hollywood hired CTP, too: The Motion Picture Association of America won an extension on tax credits for film production.

After packing 50 tax credit extensions into the bill, the committee voted 19 to 5 to pass it. But then it stalled. The Senate left for the conventions and the fall campaign. Meanwhile, House Republicans signaled resistance to some of the extensions -- especially for green energy.

One lobbyist said he didn't worry too much about the Baucus bill because "we knew the House wasn't going to pass it." But another lobbyist, who had worked on the Puerto Rico issues, said he saw Baucus' bill as an important starting point that "set the parameters" of a future fight with House Republicans.

But there never was a fight. Baucus' bill sat ignored until last week, when the White House sat down with Senate Republicans to craft a deal averting the fiscal cliff.

A Republican Senate aide familiar with the cliff negotiations tells me the White House wanted permanent extensions of a whole slew of corporate tax credits. When Senate Republicans said no, "the White House insisted that the exact language" of the Baucus bill be included in the fiscal cliff deal. "They were absolutely insistent," another aide tells me. (The White House did not return requests for comment.)

Sure enough, Title II of the fiscal cliff legislation is nearly a word-for-word replication of the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.

So, this wasn't a case of lobbyists sneaking provisions into a huge package at the last minute. That probably wouldn't have been possible, many lobbyists told me Wednesday, because the workload in the past two weeks was too large and the political stakes were too high.

One lobbyist who worked on the bill over the summer said he would never ask a member " 'Hey, can you do this for a client,' when their political lives are on the line."

"The legislators and the staff go underground when things get so intense," another Hill staffer-turned-lobbyist told me. "Nobody has time for a meeting. Nobody wants to talk about what's going on. ... The key is to plant the seed months in advance."

GE, Goldman Sachs, Diageo -- they planted their seeds over the summer. They'll enjoy the fruit in the new year.

Timothy P. Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear on

Billie C. (2)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:04 pm
i can hardly wait to see what gets buried in the next batch. i'm sure if you supported obama your pay off will be coming soon. no wonder we are going broke. time to remove any pork that shows up in any legislation.

Susanne R. (237)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:37 pm
Great comments, Dorothy and Lynn! Unfortunately for this country, there are many citizens who can't seem to see the forest for the trees...
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