The Washington Times
House Republicans are balking at the "fiscal cliff" deal the Senate passed early Tuesday morning and are looking at ways to amend it rather than accept it as is.
"I expect it to be amended," Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said as he emerged from an all-hands meeting of House Republicans that began at 1pm Tuesday and still was running more than an hour later.
Walking into the meeting, many Republicans said they were awaiting an official score of spending from the Congressional Budget Office, saying they didn't want to approve anything that moved them backward in their push to cut the deficit.
The CBO released its analysis of the Senate-passed package while the meeting was going on. It showed the bill adds more than $330 billion in net new spending, thanks to new refundable tax credits and new unemployment benefits.
All told, the bill deepens deficits by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade, with the vast majority of that coming in the form of extended tax cuts.
Senators passed the bill 89-8 at 2am Tuesday, well before the CBO analysts had finished their score.
The 157-page bill extends most of the George W. Bush-era tax rates, permanently repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax and extends a number of stimulus programs from President Obama's 2009 law.
Both Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate said it was the best deal they could reach.
House Speaker John A. Boehner agreed to bring the bill to the House floor if it emerged from the Senate, though he always said the House retained the right to amend it.
Senators, though, left town in the early morning, assuming they were done until the 113th Congress is sworn in in just two days. A House amendment would confound those plans and leave the deal in major jeopardy.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 01/01/2013
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