Daily Tax Update - December 27, 2012: House to Reconvene Sunday

HOUSE TO RECONVENE SUNDAY:  The House is scheduled to return late on December 30 for votes, including a possible vote on the fiscal cliff, while President Obama returned to Washington today.  In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner said, "The House has acted on two bills that collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff. We passed H.R. 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. These bills await action by the Senate. . . . 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."

  • If President Obama and the Senate can put together an agreement, the House could vote on the measure Sunday or Monday.
  • Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that it seemed "unlikely" a deal could be reached before the deadline. Reid said, "I have to be honest — I don’t know, time-wise, how it can happen now."  In remarks on the Senate floor today, Reid said, "If we go over the cliff, we’ll be left with the knowledge that it could have been prevented with a single vote in the Republican controlled House of Representatives. Nothing can move forward in regards to our budget crisis until Speaker Boehner and [Senate Minority] Leader McConnell are willing to participate in coming up with a bipartisan plan. So far, they are radio silent."
  • A spokesman for Boehner countered, "Sen. Reid should talk less and legislate more. The House has already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. Senate Democrats have not."
  • In remarks today on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that while there was still time to avert the fiscal cliff, he said that Senate Republicans "aren't about to write a blank check for anything Senate Democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff."

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