It seems the House Republicans finally woke to the fact that their demands to amend the bill that just made it through the Senate to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" were going nowhere: New Year’s on the ‘cliff’ _ House to vote on Senate bill as GOP backs off demands for changes:
Maneuvered into a political corner, House Republicans abandoned demands for changes in emergency legislation to prevent widespread tax increases and painful across-the-board spending cuts and cleared the way for a final, climactic New Year’s night vote.
The decision capped a day of intense political calculations for conservatives who control the House. They had to weigh their desire to cut spending against the fear that the Senate would refuse to consider any changes they made in the “fiscal cliff” bill, sending it into limbo and saddling Republicans with the blame for a whopping middle class tax increase.
Adding to the GOP discomfort, one Senate Democratic leadership aide said Majority Leader Harry Reid would “absolutely not take up the bill” if the House changed it. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity, citing a requirement to keep internal deliberations private.
The legislation cleared the Senate hours earlier on a lopsided pre-dawn vote of 89-8. Administration officials met at the White House to monitor its progress.
“I do not support the bill. We are looking, though, for the best path forward,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., declared after one meeting of the party’s rank-and-file.
Despite Cantor’s remarks, Speaker John Boehner took no public position on the bill as he sought to negotiate a conclusion to the final crisis of a two-year term full of them. Read on...