Urgent: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiscal Cliff
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
I wish I had something original to say. But there is literally nothing new to report.
The plans for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to return to DC are sketchy at best, let alone the entire House. Senior House GOP aides continually punt to the Senate, saying the responsibility rests on the shoulders of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). But Reid doesn’t have a bill…and the reason he doesn’t have a bill…is because he knows he can’t get clearance to run the 60 vote cloture traps twice. And he knows that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) won’t grant him unanimous consent nor help him get to 60.
One of the basic laws in physics is that an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
So, if our “object” was in motion, hurtling toward the fiscal cliff on November 8, accelerating by Thanksgiving, picking up steam throughout December and then making the jump to Warp 5 by Christmas….well, our object is really in motion now.
There is no obvious way out of this now (save perhaps a wormhole, since we’ve devolved into quantum theory here).
So no plans for the House to come at all at this point.
Senate meets tomorrow to deal with FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance) and a final debate and vote on an emergency spending bill for Hurricane Sandy…and that might be it.
Keep in mind that the House has not touched the Sandy bill…and at this point, has no plans to do so. Conservatives don’t like the size of the bill, what’s in it…and are outraged there are no offsets to cover the cost.
And just because the Senate passes the bill…means nothing for the victims. Keep in mind that a Senate-passed bill can not hold over to the next Congress which, by the Constitution, must start on January 3.
So, for Sandy, they’d have to start all over again.
Senior Producer for Capitol Hill