Latest updates: House approves fiscal cliff bill
January 1st, 2013
09:20 AM ET
1 year ago

Latest updates: House approves fiscal cliff bill

(CNN) - With bipartisan support, the House approved the fiscal cliff bill late Tuesday night after Republican leaders ultimately decided not to try and tack on an amendment to the Senate version of the legislation, which passed in the upper chamber around 2 a.m. ET Tuesday morning.

The package (PDF) puts off budget cuts for two months and preserves Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 or couples earning less than $450,000.

Shortly after the House approved the bill, President Barack Obama delivered a statement at the White House, saying he will sign the legislation. Check back here for the latest updates.

12:06 a.m. ET - Air Force One left for Hawaii with the president on board.

11:30 p.m. ET - Obama will depart the White House late Tuesday, the White House announced, to resume his vacation in Hawaii. He left his family on the island last week, putting his vacation on hold and returning to Washington to deal with the fiscal cliff negotiations.

11:26 p.m. ET - Obama said the government still needs to take a balanced approach on reducing the deficit.

"The one thing that I think hopefully in the new year we'll focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, a little bit less brinksmanship, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much. We can come together as Democrats and Republicans to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces our deficit, protects the middle class and provides ladders into the middle class for everybody who is willing to work hard," he said.

11:24 p.m. ET – “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed,” Obama said, referring to the upcoming debt ceiling debate.

11:21 p.m. ET – "I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans while preventing a middle class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession and obviously had a severe impact on families all across America," Obama said.

11:20 p.m. ET - In the White House Press Briefing Room, President Barack Obama said the central premise of his campaign for president was to change the tax code that was "too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of middle class Americans."

"Tonight we have done that," he added, thanking the leaders of the House and Senate. He also thanked Vice President Joe Biden, a chief negotiator in the talks.

11:19 p.m. ET - Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the bi-partisan co-chairs of Obama’s deficit reduction commission, said in a statement after the vote that the deal “is truly a missed opportunity to do something big to reduce our long term fiscal problems, but it is a small step forward in our efforts to reduce the federal deficit.”

“Washington missed this magic moment to do something big to reduce the deficit, reform our tax code, and fix our entitlement programs,” the said. “We have all known for over a year that this fiscal cliff was coming. In fact Washington politicians set it up to force themselves to seriously deal with our Nation's long term fiscal problems. Yet even after taking the country to the brink of economic disaster, Washington still could not forge a common sense bipartisan consensus on a plan that stabilizes the debt.”

After the commission submitted a report which was received coolly by the president, who did not work to turn its recommendations into law, the two founded the group Fix the Debt. Among other things, the group released a web video in which Simpson performed the “Gangnam style” dance.

11:16 p.m. ET – Calling the deal a "disaster," the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots lambasted lawmakers for passing the fiscal cliff bill.

"Politicians from both parties have an addiction to overspending and they must face it now-not at midnight the day before another so-called “deadline” approaches. We will continue to stand up for fiscal responsibility – even if we are the last ones standing," Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement.

11:12 p.m. ET - From CNN's Dan Merica: Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman who voted yes on the fiscal cliff deal, told reporters he cast his vote because, "If you want a bill to pass, you should vote for it."

Why did you want it to pass, he was asked. "I am not afraid of anything, I think it needed to pass."

Because? "Because it needed to pass. I wanted to stop a big tax increase," he said.

11:08 p.m. ET – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, voted for the fiscal cliff deal, as did House Speaker John Boehner. The No. 2 ranking Republican in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, third-ranking Republican in the House, GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, both voted against it.

11:04 p.m. ET – The White House announced President Barack Obama will deliver a statement at 11:20 p.m. ET.

10:57 p.m. ET - The U.S. House of Representatives approves fiscal cliff deal, surpassing the 217 votes needed for passage. The final breakdown is 257 in support and 167 in opposition.


10:50 p.m. ET

10:49 p.m. ET - Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas says he will vote "no" on the bill.

10:48 p.m. ET - Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah says he voted against the bill.

10:47 p.m. ET - Breaking tradition, House Speaker John Boehner voted on the bill.


10:41 p.m. ET - House now begins a 15-minute vote on final passage of fiscal cliff deal.

10:38 p.m. ET – Republican Rep. Dave Camp says the permanent extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making less than $450,000 is "the largest tax cut in the history of the country."

10:29 p.m. ET

10:27 p.m. ET - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer on the House floor said the bill isn't perfect–"I severely regret that this is not a big, bold and balanced plan"–but urged its passage, nonetheless.

"Compromise is not the art of perfection. By its very definition, comprise contains elements that neither side likes. But it also contains pieces both sides can embrace," he said.

10:19 p.m. ET

10:16 p.m. ET – Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania praised the bill in the House floor debate.

"As we close out this Congress, we've reached resolution on a major issue facing this Congress and our nation: fair tax policy for our families and our businesses. There's more work to do and in the next Congress, my guess is that it will be just as difficult to reach bipartisan solutions."

10:14 p.m. ET - Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-New Jersey, reminds the House that the body has not acted on the measure to provide relief to the victims of Superstorm Sandy. “If you want to get into nickels and dimes, then let’s get into nickels and dimes,” he said. “We’ve done our share and we’ll continue to do it. We want everyone to step up to the plate.”

The Senate passed a $60.4 billion relief package for the states, including New Jersey, impacted by the late October storm last week. If the House does not act before Thursday, the measure would need to be brought through the Senate again in the new Congress.

10:12 p.m. ET - Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel says it is not a profile in courage to vote for the fiscal cliff measure. “We’re the ones who created this mess,” he said. “How can you go home and tell the people that this is what you’ve created?”

The sequester portion of the fiscal cliff – the across-the-board spending cuts – was a creation of Congress and spelled out in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

10:07 p.m. ET - On the House floor, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas thanks Democrats for "finally recognizing that 98% of Americans were helped by the Bush tax cuts." The fiscal cliff bill will extend the Bush-era tax breaks for households making under $450,000 per year and individuals making under $400,000 per year.

10:05 p.m. ET

10:03 p.m. ET – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urges her colleagues to pass the bill with bipartisan support and vote "aye."

10:02 p.m. ET - From CNN's Dan Merica: A confident Rep. Steve Israel reflected on the Democrats' caucus with Vice President Joe Biden earlier in the day, stating that Biden swayed wavering Democrats and put the legislation "over the top."

"He was able to answer point by point these criticisms. I think he put this over the top. At the end of the day, Vice President Biden put this over the top by convincing Democrats that we needed to display some compromise and some solutions."

9:59 p.m. ET

9:54 p.m. ET – Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California says he "cannot bring himself" to vote for the legislation, saying it lacks enough spending cuts.

"Because of what we're not doing, I cannot believe that this tax cut will be followed with the spending cuts" necessary to pay down the deficit, he said.

9:50 p.m. ET – Democratic Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan, ranking member of House Ways and Means Committee, says the fiscal cliff legislation "breaks the iron barrier that has far too long" protected wealthy Americans from higher tax rates.

"I urge its passage. This bill sets the important precedent in terms of additional revenue," he said. "The time is urgent, the time is now. We support this legislation."

9:46 p.m. ET – Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, chairman of House Ways and Means Committee, opens up hour-long debate on the Senate bill.

9:40 p.m. ET – House votes by a wide margin on rule to move to fiscal cliff bill. Final vote count: 396 in favor, 9 opposed. Next they’ll hold debate on the bill itself then vote on its passage.

9:34 p.m. ET - Were he in Congress, Grover Norquist says he would be voting with President Barack Obama and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz. The keeper of the anti-tax pledge explains why. His assessment of the bill frees Republicans to vote for the measure without concern that his group, Americans for Tax Reform, will invest in their defeat next election.

9:30 p.m. ET – Democratic Rep. Steve Israel on CNN: "This day has been like a New Year's Day, television marathon of the Congress of chronic chaos with roller coasters and twists and turns and fancy footwork and high drama. It's unnecessary. The American people deserve compromise. They deserve pragmatism."

While he disagrees with parts of the bill, Israel said he plans on voting in favor of the legislation.

9:25 p.m. ET - Republican Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida says he plans to vote against the clean Senate bill.

9:19 p.m. ET – The House is now voting on rule for the fiscal cliff deal, then will start general debate.

9:13 p.m. ET – Rep David Schweikert , R-Arizona, explains he will vote against the Senate-passed deal because of the spending included in it. The measure includes an extension of unemployment benefits, among other spending. He also referenced the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the deal, which was released this afternoon.

8:56 p.m ET – Republican aides say a final vote on the bill in the House will happen roughly between 11:15 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. ET.

8:55 p.m. ET - Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter, ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said the fiscal cliff deal is "no great victory" and "only a partial answer" that sets the nation up for "another fiscal showdown" in months.

However, she said it helps the country avoid "the worst of the fiscal cliff."

"This legislation is far from perfect and the process that has led us here was an utter disgrace, yet in this time and crisis we must act first and foremost to protect the economy," she said.

8:46 p.m.ET – Republican Rep. David Dreier, House Rules Committee Chair, on the House floor says deadlines are a "fact of life" and argues that debates running up to the last minute are hardly unprecedented.

"What we're doing tonight...will bring us back from the edge of the fiscal cliff," he said, adding that he hopes the clean bill will pass with "strong bipartisan support."

8:41 p.m. ET – House is back in session to debate rule on the Senate fiscal cliff bill.

8:37 p.m. ET - CNNMoney reports on the international markets as they open for business Wednesday while U.S. lawmakers race to complete legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff. Read more.

8:02 p.m. ET - The House will vote Tuesday night on a Senate bill - an up or down vote without amendments - to avert the fiscal cliff, a senior House GOP leadership aide told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.


7:58 p.m. ET –
While CNN reports there's a growing sense that the House will take up the Senate bill without amendments, Republican Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona said he won't support the Senate bill unless the House adds a provision calling for more spending cuts.

"I'm going to vote no, I'm absolutely going to vote no," he told CNN's Ali Velshi.

Schweikert said he's disappointed in the lack of spending cuts from the Senate bill, saying it contradicts Democratic language that called for a balanced approach involving both cuts and revenue.

"Part of this actually breaks my heart because I was struggling to find a way to get to yes," he added.

While other Republican lawmakers are saying it's time to address the fiscal cliff now and tackle spending cuts later, Schweikert said he couldn't support kicking the can farther down the road.

"This is probably what 2013 looks like. We're going to have the debt ceiling, the continuing resolutions. This is what our future looks like because the issue before us is about debt and spending," he said. "This is our reality and you've just seen in what just happened tonight how hard it is to have that conversation."

7:52 p.m. ET - MORE on emerging sentiments in the House from CNN's Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett:

After talking to multiple conservative House GOP lawmakers, it appears the sentiment is growing to simply vote up or down on the Senate bill – and not amend it.

House GOP leaders warn they are still officially gauging support among members for an amendment that would add $300 billion in spending cuts.

However the biggest concern among even conservatives who will vote against the Senate bill is that the Senate won't take up an amended bill and it would backfire.

7:36 p.m. ET - CNN's Dana Bash says there's a growing feeling on Capitol Hill that the House will hold a vote on the Senate bill without adding any amendments. Her reporting confirms what Reps. Tom Cole and Tim Murphy told CNN below.

7:35 p.m. ET – Republican Rep. Tom Cole, who's the deputy GOP whip in the House, said he expects the chamber to pass a clean version of the Senate fiscal cliff bill Tuesday night.

"I do think we're going to do the right thing tonight," Cole said on CNN, referring to holding a vote on the Senate bill without amendments.

The Oklahoma Republican said he didn't want to take the risk of sending a bill back to the Senate, only to see it die.

"Let's take the Senate deal and fight another day," he said, adding there will be more opportunities to battle for more spending cuts in the near future. "There's lots of leverage on the spending fights to come."

Cole was one of the first Republican lawmakers to call for a compromise on the tax hike provision, saying in November that Congress should pass legislation dealing with tax increases now, then address spending cuts later.

7:30 p.m. ET – Republican Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania said he's not confident GOP leaders can get the 217 votes needed to add an amendment to the Senate bill that would add $300 billion in spending cuts.

"I'm not sure those votes are going to be there," he said on CNN.

In that case, the House would take up the Senate bill tonight as it now stands. Murphy said such action would likely result in passage of the Senate bill.

7:20 p.m. ET - The House is back in recess subject to the call of chair. Republican leaders are presumably figuring out if they have the 217 votes needed to add an amendment to the Senate bill. The amendment would add another $300 billion in spending cuts.

7:02 p.m. ET - CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports the amendment Republicans would add to the fiscal cliff bill includes $300 billion in spending cuts but keeps Senate language on postponing the sequester for two months.

6:49 p.m. – From CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett on Capitol Hill: Emerging from a GOP conference meeting, the conservative Louisiana lawmaker said there is a growing "sentiment" among GOP lawmakers to allow the Senate passed-bill to be approved in the House because the consequences are too great at this point not to have a bill pass.

"I think the sentiment is that if we really tried to improve, what really is a bad bill, it probably would just frustrate many people so we may just let it go as it is," he said.

Asked what changed so quickly from the last GOP meeting just a few hours ago, he said, "it's one of those things where an idea pops up that sounds good. But then you think through and you look at all the ramifications and problems. I think for many of us we look back at the payroll tax thing that happened a year ago and see that when you see a bill pass with so many Republicans in the Senate, it would probably have a similar result."

He said he expects the bill to pass later Tuesday or Wednesday morning largely on Democratic votes. He will vote against it.

Fleming said he does not expect it to hurt Boehner politically nor threaten his speakership.

"Why should it?" he asked. "I think we're together and on the same page now more than we have been for a long time."

6:45 p.m. ET - Congressmen on both sides of the fiscal cliff weighed in on Twitter as Republicans met to discuss their next steps: Either vote for the Senate version of the bill as it now stands or attempt to add amendments and send it back to the upper chamber.

Rep Charlie Rangel, D-New York:

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona:

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-New York:

6:37 p.m. ET – The House is now making votes on matters unrelated to the fiscal cliff.

6:36 p.m. ET - CNN Radio Congressional Correspondent Lisa Desjardins takes us into the Capitol in this podcast, detailing the sights and sounds where the dealmakers were working.

6:32 p.m. ET – "If we see an amended version on the floor, this deal is dead," Ryan Lizza, CNN Contributor and Washington correspondent for the New Yorker, said on CNN.

6:22 p.m. ET - CNN's Dana Bash reports a vote is likely to happen in the House Tuesday night. Read more about the two options they may vote on.

6:18 p.m. ET – The House is going into session in 15 minutes to vote on other measures, Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette said on CNN. They'll use that time to get a count on who would favor adding amendments to the Senate bill (217 votes are needed) or hold a vote on the bill as it now stands.

The current version of the Senate bill has a better shot of passing than a Senate bill with GOP amendments, he said.

"We've been beaten in this fight," he added, saying he would vote in favor of the Senate bill–without amendments–if it came to an up or down vote.

6:15 p.m. ET – CNN's Dana Bash reports House Speaker John Boehner presented Republican members two options in their meeting tonight, according to a Republican source.

The first would be to make an amendment to the Senate bill that would add a package of spending cuts. House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy will do a whip check on this spending cuts amendment after the meeting.

If they can get the commitment of 218 votes on this amendment, they will bring it to the floor and send it to the Senate. The speaker and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both cautioned members about the risk in such a strategy, the source said. They told them there is no guarantee the Senate would act on it.

If they cannot get the commitment of 218 votes tonight, they will bring up the Senate-passed measure for an up-or-down vote in the House.

6:11 p.m. ET – How did we get to the edge of the fiscal cliff in the first place? CNN's Ali Velshi explains the path that led to the situation.

6:09 p.m. ET - The White House is watching movement on Capitol Hill "very, very closely" tonight, CNN's Jessica Yellin reports on "The Situation Room."

6:08 p.m. ET - CNNMoney reports that the rich would see a much bigger tax bill under the fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate early Tuesday morning, but even they would get some nice breaks.

Those making a million and up would pay $122,560 more in federal taxes, on average, according to new estimates by the Tax Policy Center. That means this group, which includes those bringing home many millions of dollars, would see a 5.7% drop in after-tax income. Read more.

5:53 p.m. ET - The Senate has adjourned for the night and will reconvene Wednesday at noon.

5:49 p.m. ET – House Republicans are now meeting to discuss options on the fiscal cliff bill. CNN's Jessica Yellin reported earlier on Vice President Joe Biden's efforts to rally Democrats to support the bill. Read more about the day's events

5:42 p.m. ET - CNN's Gut Check takes a look at senators who voted "no" on the last-minute bill.

5:31 p.m. ET - The majority of Americans believe failure to reach a solution to the fiscal cliff would be a crisis or major problem. Two in ten said crisis and 50% said major problems in the latest CNN/ORC poll, conducted December 17-18. Only 24% say it would mean minor problems and 4% say no problems will result from going off of the cliff. Sampling error is plus or minus 4% points.

5:25 p.m. ET – CNN's Dana Bash reports House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor are on their way to the GOP meeting.

5:17 p.m. ET – Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz says if there's no vote in the House on Tuesday or if Republicans push to add amendments to the Senate bill, then "it means we're going over the cliff." She noted the Senate has already adjourned and the new Congress starts again on Thursday, meaning negotiations would be back at square one.

"If that's what Republicans wants, it's a little baffling," she said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

4:49 p.m. ET - Vice President Joe Biden briefly commented on the prospects for the deal he negotiated with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell after stopping for a sandwich. He was questioned by CNN's Lesa Jansen.

4:50 p.m. ET - From CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh: A GOP source says all House Republicans are meeting again –at 5:15 p.m. ET.

4:49 p.m. ET – What happens if House Republicans amend the bill passed by the Senate? CNN's Tom Foreman explains:

4:46 p.m. ET - House GOP members expressed sharp discontent Tuesday over the Senate bill, saying the measure lacks spending cuts and adds to the federal debt.

"I know the president won his election but I also won my election," Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama told reporters on Capitol Hill. "If we are going to increase taxes, we need to cut spending and this package doesn't do that."

Meanwhile, Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana said the bill raises "taxes to give the president more money to spend. We think that's a bad idea."

Others discredited the Senate bill based on the chamber's late-hour voting time of 2 a.m. ET.

"I know it was way past those senators' bedtime and they were bleary eyed when they were reading it, so we are trying to fill in the gaps where they may have missed a few things," said Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia.

4:41 p.m. ET - How will markets react to revelations the House may not vote on the Senate-passed fiscal cliff measure? We'll get the first signs tonight:

4:18 p.m. ET - House GOP leadership continues meeting to plot a path forward on the fiscal cliff bill. (Getty Images)

4:11 p.m. ET - Vice President Joe Biden told reporters outside the White House that he thinks and hopes the fiscal cliff deal will pass the House. He returned to the White House after lunch at a sandwich shop nearby.

4:09 p.m. ET – More from Issa: "Let's remember: If we get it right on January 2, 3, 4, 5, we will not see the [fiscal cliff] kick in."

Wolf Blitzer asks Issa about potential backlash from voters. "They'll hate you," Blitzer says.

"I only have one voting card," Issa says. "I was instructed by my constituents to vote on conscience."

4:05 p.m. ET - Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, says on CNN he's with Eric Cantor: He cannot vote for the fiscal cliff bill in its current form. He wants a bill with spending cuts.

3:50 p.m. ET – The fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate Tuesday morning would increase deficits over the next decade by close to $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

But that's relative to where deficits would otherwise be if Congress were to let all the Bush tax cuts expire and keep much if not all of the other tax hikes and spending cuts under the fiscal cliff in place. Under that scenario, only $2.88 trillion would be added to the debt over the next decade.

3:36 p.m. ET - Another potential wrinkle to the fiscal cliff battle: the new Congress will be sworn in on Thursday. Any legislation passed by one chamber and not the other will have to be re-voted upon by the House and the Senate when the new session begins.

3:34 p.m. ET – LaTourette predicts that some kind of measure will be voted upon Tuesday in the House.

3:31 p.m. ET - Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, says it's ridiculous for the House to vote on a bill passed by "sleep deprived octogenarians." (He's talking about senators who voted on the bill early this morning).

3:23 p.m. ET – Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, issued this statement following a meeting of the House GOP conference:

"The Speaker and Leader laid out options to the members and listened to feedback. The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting. Conversations with members will continue throughout the afternoon on the path forward."

3:16 p.m. ET - If Republicans amend the Senate-passed bill to include spending cuts - and vote to pass it - the measure would then head back to the Senate for another vote in the upper chamber.

3:09 p.m. ET - CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports from Capitol Hill that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor opposes the fiscal cliff measure passed by the Senate. "I do not support the bill," Cantor told reporters as he was leaving a meeting of the GOP conference. He said no decisions have been made, and that he's looking for the best path forward.

3:11 p.m. ET - If the House holds an up-or-down vote, will Democrats get enough votes? Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer says he doesn't have a number but believes they "will have a bipartisan vote." Neither he nor Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would say whether they were conferring with Republicans about which GOP members would support the bill, as they said their own members were still considering the proposal.

"Our members are taking a look at the bill," said Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee. "We would just ask our Republican colleagues to bear in mind the good of the country as they weigh the equities."

3:08 p.m. ET - As House Democratic leaders speak to cameras, GOP members are leaving their conference meeting:

3:03 p.m. ET - Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Democratic whip, said Democratic members were still reviewing specifics of the compromise measure, but that he was hopeful the House would pass it before this congress adjourns.

3:01 p.m. ET - Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, says after meeting with Vice President Biden she expected House Speaker John Boehner to bring the Senate-passed fiscal cliff measure to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

"Up until now our speaker has said when the Senate acts we will have a vote in the House. That is what the speaker said. That is what the American people deserve," Pelosi said.

2:31 p.m. ET – Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, said Vice President Biden was "evangelical" during his meeting with House Democrats Tuesday in order to convince skeptical members to vote for the fiscal cliff bill. Speaking on CNN, Israel said he thought most Democrats would support the measure after hearing from Biden.

2:01 p.m. ET - Rev. Barry Black, Senate chaplain, referred to God as the "source of strength for stressed out emotions and strained minds" in a prayer on the Senate floor.

"Thank you for using our senators in the early morning hours of this new year to accomplish your purposes. May the sparks from their bipartisan cooperation ignite flames of unity that will illuminate the inevitable darkness to come," he said.

2:24 p.m. ET - CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports on how one GOP House member is feeling about a fiscal cliff vote

2:17 p.m. ET - For even more on the fiscal cliff deal the Senate signed off on last night, read this story from CNN's Josh Levs: 5 things to know about the fiscal cliff.

1:00 p.m. ET – Vice President Biden arrived at a meeting of House Democrats. (Getty Images)

12:32 p.m. ET – CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports Vice President Biden has arrived on Capitol Hill for a meeting with House Democrats.

"Hello folks, Happy New Year, Happy New Year," he said as he walked into the meeting.

12:25 p.m. ET – A House GOP leadership aide tells CNN's Dana Bash that any decision about a House vote on the fiscal cliff measure will come after a second GOP meeting later this afternoon (a first meeting is slated for 1 p.m. ET).

“The purpose of this meeting is to review what the Senate has passed, discuss potential options, and seek member feedback," the aide said of the 1 p.m. meeting. "No decision on the path forward is expected before another member meeting that will be held later today.”

12:03 p.m. ET - Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Washington, is on CNN relaying what he heard Tuesday morning during his work-out in the House gym. Dicks says he thinks the measure will come up for a vote, and will pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. Dicks, who is retiring at the end of this congress, is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.

12:01 p.m. ET - Dana Bash live on CNN soon with latest on where the House fiscal cliff vote stands.

11:59 p.m. ET - Here's a chart mapping how senators voted early Tuesday on the fiscal cliff measure.

10:57 a.m. ET - Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, explains why he thinks he'll be voting against the fiscal cliff deal passed in the Senate last night.

10:45 a.m. ET - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, released a statement Tuesday explaining his "no" vote on the fiscal cliff bill. He wrote that while he "appreciated" Sen. McConnell's work in negotiating a deal, he couldn't support the arrangement since it "does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control."

"This deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can't find the work they need," Rubio wrote.

For more on which senators voted "no" on the deal, click here.

10:41 a.m. ET - More on the timing of today's action on Capitol Hill from CNN's Deirdre Walsh: Two aides say the GOP conference is meeting today at 1 p.m. ET.

Any decision whether the House votes Tuesday will most likely be made following that meeting — after House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor go over the fiscal cliff deal with all House Republicans.

10:39 a.m. ET – From CNN's Lisa Desjardins on Capitol Hill:

10:25 a.m. ET - More from Dana Bash: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office says there’s no decision yet on whether the House will vote Tuesday on the fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate.

10:15 a.m. ET - Latest on a potential House vote from CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash:

9:57 a.m. ET - Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, looks ahead to one of the three upcoming "fiscal cliffs" which will confront legislators this year:

9:49 a.m. ET - Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said on CNN's "Newsroom" Tuesday morning that he would likely vote for the fiscal cliff bill which passed the Senate, but that he needs time to consider the "fine print." This would be one of the last votes Kucinich would cast, as he is retiring from the House this year after serving eight terms.

9:45 a.m. ET - Conservative Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah wrote on Twitter Tuesday he wouldn't support the bill passed by the Senate. If every Democrat backs the measure, roughly 30 Republicans will need to vote "yes" in order for it to pass the House.

9:30 a.m. ET – CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reports that House Republicans will meet on the Hill at 1 p.m. ET, ahead of any votes on the fiscal cliff package.

9:28 a.m. ET – What exactly is in the measure up for debate? Most prominently, it would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the vast majority of Americans and spare tens of millions from the Alternative Minimum Tax.

While it would provide some short-term certainty, it would leave a range of big issues unaddressed. Read more at CNNMoney.

9:21 a.m. ET - Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, says on CNN the Senate-passed fiscal cliff bill looks like something he could support, but that he'll have to read the fine print.

8:30 a.m. ET - Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) says he will vote for the Senate approved bill unamended, expects most of House to pass it.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (605 Responses)
  1. jeffindenver

    It is good to know Congress is working, albeit through the holidays yet to move America forward.

    January 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. The Film Professor

    This will pass if Boehner allows a vote. If he doesn't, I seriously think we should tar and feather the entire House GOP leadership and chase them out of town!

    January 1, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. J Stuart

    GOP is waiting for automatic tax increases to take effect; then they can lower those increases and say they voted to lower taxes not increase them.

    January 1, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. mcskadittle

    so the senate spent new years eve at work, where are the congressmen? at home watching football?
    The value their pledge to a lobbyist more than they do their Oath to the American people

    January 1, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. NC-Anon

    Despite the disclaimer, this blog of CNN's does restrict which comments it will make visible. I posted some commentary earlier and it never appeared. It was not complimentary of anyone in DC, but was not vulgar or profane in any way. I wonder what their banned words are?

    A previous poster was correct – it's really all about the looting until the republic falls. This is just political theater meant to distract the masses so that the back room deals benefiting their masters on Wall St, the MIC, and Big Pharma, Oil & Ag can get made in obscurity.

    January 1, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. mcskadittle

    for all of you that have been calling the President to show leadership, the President got it passed in the senate, where is the speaker???

    January 1, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Bhimrao

    I wholeheartedly support 'TJ' suggestion above. Term Limits for the congress and the senate is a must. (include the supreme court justices as well.) Politics should not be a life time career. There expenses of benefits, travel, staff and other perks should also be cut Their committee system and the importance of seniority system creates Dianosours in our politics.

    January 1, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. David W

    Let's go over the cliff...it will be a great adventure. And it is the only bipartisan plan I have seen. And it is the only meaningful way to stop the government from spending more than it has to spend. Let's join hands (very important), and leap together.

    January 1, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Joyce

    So this is all about taxes, and nothing about spending cuts. I wouldn't sign it, and I hope the house turns it down.

    January 1, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Jake T

    Waiting for Congress to do there job would have been a lot more entertaining had they used colored smoke like the Vatican does for a Pope. We've seen a lot of red and blue smoke but not much purple.

    January 1, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. David W

    Bhimrao and TJ – NO term limits. I used to think that way. It does seem to work for our Virginia Governor. But the US Government is the largest and most complicated "industry" on Earth. You could spend a 40-year career in it and master 10% of it. However, I personally love the idea of a term limit for the President – make it one term for six years.

    January 1, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. NC-Anon

    Until corporations are no longer people; dark/large money is no longer allowed to drive political campaigns & elections; and 3rd-party candidates are given equal air / press / debate coverage, nothing is going to change and the folks on the Hill are not going to do anything that jeapordizes their cushy jobs, closes their golden revolving doors, or ticks off their corporate masters. If people (corporations are not people) want a government that really works for their best interests, then they will have to purge this one and form a new one. They will also have to understand that the current virulent strain of capitalism this country (semi) functions under will never benefit anyone except those at the top of the pyramid scheme. This government is p0wned completely, and not by citizens.

    January 1, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. mike

    Until ALL politicians know what is like to live paycheck to paycheck nothing will change. They have never had to live this way and for the few that have, they have forgotten. If something is not done to stop this mess I will be forced to lose my house. We are a single income family of 4 that gets help from family to make ends meet. If our taxes go up and what little help we get from tax credits is lost we will go under. We have struggled to avoid losing our house but we will have no choice now.

    January 1, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Linda

    Until the extreme right GOP is voted out of office, they will continue to use the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling scenerio as their bargaining chips which in turn will downgrade US and World confindence. It's hard to believe the American people have allowed this to happen for this long. Vote them out.

    January 1, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Irritated

    To Sam – January 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |

    My spouse was out of work for almost two years and I check to see if our family would be eligible for food stamps. Unfortunately, our income (about $36,000 including the unemployment benefits of approximately $200.00 per week, taxes deducted by the way) took us about $1,000 over the eligible amount for the number in our family of three. My spouse finally returned to work (not easy when you are over 50) and now earns much less than he did in his previous position.

    You claim that anyone earning $30,000 per year is receiving government assistance. That is a false statement. I would like to know where you got your information about income threshold for government assistance. You must walk in the same circles as Mitt Romney!

    January 1, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. txan

    They're meeting now to see if they can conjure up enough safe districts to allow them to do what's right for the country rather than what's right for personal reelection. Bunch of GOP jerks.

    January 1, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Stephen

    Gop source insists boehner is not taking a position for or against the cliff deal.

    WHAT LEADERSHIP!

    January 1, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. john r

    why is it that Dems all say "Tar & Feather the GOP" "Burn them all". Such hatefull stuff. Is it not OK for someone to differ with you? Are you so narrow minded you only see one point of view?

    Do you think taxes on the rich means more money in YOUR pocket? wow Maybe the gov'ment gives you money, but i have never got a check from them. I am not rich. Taxing that guy does not make me better. And where are spending cuts? The country can not tax their way out.

    January 1, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Larry L

    Correction: "Is on the President's desk"!

    January 1, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. maewertz

    Time is expensive. We are paying the wages of our representatives to behave like our children instead of our protectors. If you are serving your party and personal ambitions, you need to find another job. New blood in the congress will bring fresh thinking, energy, get things done, and receive lower wages. We help save the country and our pocketbook by limiting the years served in Congress. When it comes to cutting the spending budget, I hear nothing about cutting foreign aid.

    January 1, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Criticalist

    THEY NEED SPENDING CUTS!! DON'T AGREE TO A TRASH BILL WITHOUT CUTS!! AMERICA SPENDS TOO DAM* MUCH! THIS KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD NEEDS TO STOP NOW!!!

    January 1, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. maewertz

    Time is expensive. We are paying the wages of our representatives to behave like our children instead of our protectors. If you are serving your party and personal ambitions, you need to find another job. New blood in the congress will bring fresh thinking, energy, get things done, and receive lower wages. We save the country and our pocketbook by limiting the years served in Congress. When it comes to cutting the budget, I hear nothing about cutting foreign aid.

    January 1, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Frustrated

    We need a national NO-CONFIDENCE vote for this do nothing Congress.

    January 1, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. penguin

    The tax increase is a pitence. It will do essentially nothing to decrease the deficit. The whole process has been a dog and pony show. The deal accomplishes virtrually nothing. We need serious proposals to increase revenue and serious proposals to cut spending. Instead we get a miniscule tax increase and no spending cuts. It wouldn't bother me if it doesn't pass. The "cliff" is starting to look like the best option.

    January 1, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Hey

    If the house votes "no" the market will drop five to ten percent by Friday. How about that loss?

    January 1, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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