[Editor’s note: The bill passed the House by a vote of 257-167. Scroll down to see updates to this story.]
The Republican-controlled House is preparing a vote tonight on the “Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012,” the “fiscal cliff” bill passed last night at 1:58 a.m. ET by the U.S. Senate.
House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) says he expects “strong bipartisan support” for passage of #fiscalcliff bill.
— Ed O’Keefe (@edatpost) January 2, 2013
Preparation for the House’s passage of the “fiscal cliff” deal struck by the Senate has been marked by confusion and anger from conservative leaders.
“I do not support the bill. We are looking, though, for the best path forward,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said after a meeting with the party’s rank-and-file.
Some believe his decision to speak out against the bill while Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) has remained relatively silent may signal that Rep. Cantor has his eyes on the speakership.
A handful of GOP House members fought to amend the Senate bill so that it would include more cuts. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed that he would “absolutely not take up the bill” if it involved amendments to the Senate’s original “cliff” deal.
“We’ve gone as far as we can go,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), “I think people are ready to bring this to a conclusion, and know we have a whole year ahead of us” to continue the fight over spending.
The Senate’s bill puts off the automatic spending cuts (i.e. the “sequester”) for two months. It also calls for about $600+ billion in new tax hikes while cutting only a fraction of that amount in government spending. In fact, for every $41 that is raised in taxes, only $1 will be cut.
Also, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate’s “fiscal cliff” bill will add $4 trillion over a decade to federal deficits.
And in case you were wondering about whether a spending bill originated in the Senate (as opposed to lower chamber), here’s an explanation:
The Senate cliff bill is a massive amendment to a House-passed bill, thus complying with Const. prov. that House must originate tax bills.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) January 1, 2013
“I personally hate it,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.). “The speaker the day after the election said we would give on taxes and we have. But we wanted spending cuts. This bill has spending increases. Are you kidding me? So we get tax increases and spending increases? Come on.”
Unsurprisingly, House Democrats are all for the vote.
“That is what we expect. That is what the American people deserve,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
UPDATE — Folks, we may be in for a late one:
— Major Garrett(@MajorCBS) January 2, 2013
Also, unlike last night’s Senate vote, the House is moving at lightning speed to get this deal through:
House debate on #fiscalcliff rule is moving VERY, VERY, VERY fast.
— Jill Jackson (@jacksonjk) January 2, 2013
Voting has begun:
House now voting on debate rule for the Senate-passed fiscal cliff bill. Once approved, House begins hour debate on that, no amendments.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 2, 2013
UPDATE II: First hurdle cleared:
Rule to get to the fiscal cliff bill passes by wide margin, not a surprise
— Ed Henry (@edhenryTV) January 2, 2013
The House will now take an hour to debate the Senate-backed “cliff” deal. After that, the House will vote for its final passage.
A little food for thought while we wait. First, from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.): “We owe Nancy Pelosi a real debt of gratitude for being where we are today.”
Second, from Sen. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas):
Gohmert: I’d like to thank the other side for finally recognizing that the other 98% of Americans saw a tax cut under Bush.
— Bill Murphy (@billmurphy) January 2, 2013
The vote is scheduled for 11:00 p.m. ET.
UPDATE III (10:00 p.m. ET) — While we wait on the House to debate the bill, here’s a dramatization of America going over the “fiscal cliff” (which is really more of a hill anyway):
UPDATE IV: With the blessing of the Speaker, the “fiscal cliff” deal has passed the House.
Breaking with Rep. Boehner, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) voted “no” on the measure. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), however, voted “yea.”
Cantor spox: “Leader Cantor is very proud of Speaker Boehner and our entire conference for fighting the good fight”
— Daniel Newhauser (@dnewhauser) January 2, 2013
Thus ends the Paul Ryan 2016 Presidential Exploratory Committee.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 2, 2013
Boehner/Ryan — most prominent ayes. McCarthy/Cantor — most prominent nays. Intrigue in the GOP ranks.
— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) January 2, 2013
Here’s a complete list of the 85 Republicans who voted “yes” to the Senate backed measure:
Shortly after passing the bill, President Obama held a press conference to thank Congress for its work and vowed going forward to avoid any more dramatic fights over the country’s financial woes.
“I will not have another debate with this Congress over the debt ceiling,” the president said.
The president will depart later this evening to resume his Hawaiian vacation:
With bill passed, Pres Obama flying back to Hawaii tonight to resume vacation with family still there.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 2, 2013
Final Thought: Our “final thought” comes via senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University Veronique de Rugy:
Rs who voted for this bill that raises taxes& spending and postpones sequester to cancel it later make French socialists look like Reagan.
— Veronique de Rugy (@veroderugy) January 2, 2013
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
All photos courtesy the AP. This article is being updated … a lot.