S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

In reverse at the edge of the cliff . . . this time.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner was unable to secure the votes necessary to amend the senate-passed bill restoring a bit of sanity to the opening days of 2013.  For the first time in what has seemed like an eternity, a few coherent House Republicans joined with lots of House Democrats to pass legislation raising taxes on the wealthiest among us.  The measure extends tax cuts for the Middle class, without passing cuts to entitlement programs. Amazing . . .

Lynn Sweet, one of my favorite reporters tweeted this explanation:
Sweet blog House sends Obama fiscal cliff bill to sign: How it passed, the inside story
Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, however, reminds that the looming cliff is still before us.  His tweet reiterated that the Republican game of chicken will continue:
Simple fact: GOP pledging to use debt limit for new confrontation, keeping country, economy & markets in continued crisis for months.

President Obama, with Vice President Biden at his side, delivered a short statement about the U.S. House vote to pass the "fiscal cliff" bill the Senate recently sent to them. After signing the bill, he now returns to Hawaii to finish his holiday with his family.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now in the driver's seat for the next cliff-hanger.  We will be interested to see what happens January 3, when the 113th Congress returns to Washington, D.C.  Tomorrow, the Senate will decide on its new rules, including whether to change the filibuster rule.  The question occurs whether Senator Reid will confront his current ally, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over the 60 vote requirement to pass anything.  It will be interesting to see whether Reid hits the brakes on a bipartisan proposal recently introduced, or drives ahead with those in the Senate who want different reforms.

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