CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 1, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: WAITING ON THE HOUSE AND A SKEPTICAL GOP… After passing the Democratic-controlled Senate in an overwhelming 89-8 vote in the early hours of Tuesday, the bill aimed at averting the mix of tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff now faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House.
A statement from Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, on the House GOP caucus: “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.”
Cantor opposes fiscal cliff bill: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters while leaving a House GOP meeting, "I do not support the bill." – Deirdre Walsh
Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., says Republicans are doing what they were elected to do:
CNN’s Dana Bash: "There are a lot of people out there, many Democrats but some not, saying ‘Here they go again, House Republicans, messing everything up…’"
Rep. Hayworth: "–Representing the American people, trying to do the right thing because really we were elected and then reelected as a majority to bring the federal government to the right size, to respect every tax dollar."
THE CBO SCORE GOP WILL BE TALKING ABOUT: CBO: Fiscal cliff deal adds $4 trillion to deficits… The fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate on 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.
In what year did January 1 become New Year’s Day?
While you were sleeping (or celebrating the New Year in a better manner than CNN political reporters), the U.S. Senate voted 89-8 to avert the fiscal cliff. The 8 “no” votes caught our eye:
1) Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, whose term expires in 2014, balked at the deal’s raising the household income threshold to $450,000 for tax cut extensions.
2) Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, who is up for re-election in 2016, said in a statement that he voted no because the deal “does not put in place a real process to reduce the debt down the road.”
3) Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Delaware, who is was just re-elected in 2012 with 66% of the vote Tweeted today, “Americans want us to do right thing, not easy thing. I voted no on #fiscalcliff deal b/c it doesn't solve the problem. Need grand bargain.”
4) - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, whose senate seat is up in 2016, and has been widely speculated as a potential Republican presidential candidate, explained his no vote on Twitter, “How can @BarackObama call his proposal a #deficit reduction package if it uses #taxincrease to fund more spending & it increases the #debt
5) Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, another potential 2016 contender, voted no and said on CNN Monday that the deal kicked “the can down the road.” (LINK )
6) Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a tea party favorite whose Senate seat is up in 2016, told Fox Monday that thel fiscal cliff deals leave “a dysfunctional system intact.”
7) Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, whose Senate seat is also up in 2016, took to Twitter today to further explain his no vote, “When will Wash start work to control spending? Deal failed 2 do so& President made clear he wants more tax increases. Yet prob is spending “
8) Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, another “no” vote whose Senate seat is up in 2016, said in a statement blasting the deal, "this package raises taxes, increases spending, and will lead to more borrowing."
Three senators did not vote on the Senate fiscal cliff bill: Republicans Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and Ron Kirk of Illinois, and Democrat Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey did not make the roll call. Key GOP power broker DeMint is leaving Capitol Hill to head the Heritage Foundation, while Kirk and Lautenberg were absent for health reasons. The full Senate vote.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: 5 things to know about the fiscal cliff
It's complex, dense, and filled with compromise. And the deal passed by the Senate to avert the "fiscal cliff" might not even become law, depending what action the House takes. Here are five things to know about the bill that passed the Senate overwhelmingly in the middle of the night. – Josh Levs
Video Explainer: CNN's Tom Foreman.
Leading Drudge: 330 Billion Dollar Bust
The "fiscal cliff" deal that was designed to save money actually includes $330.3 billion in new spending over the next decade, according to the official estimate the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday afternoon. CBO said the bill contains about $25.1 billion in new cuts, but those are swamped by the new spending on extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and other new refundable tax credits that President Obama fought for. – Stephen Dinan
Leading HuffPo: U.S. Fiscal Cliff Deal Leaves House Republicans Angry, Deal In Jeopardy
A high-stakes, multi-layered game of chicken is underway in the Capitol, as House Republicans grapple with how to handle a fiscal cliff bill sent their way by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, even while it's wildly unpopular within their conference. – Ryan Grim
Leading Politico: Enjoy the fiscal cliff debate? Just wait for the debt ceiling
The fiscal cliff has consumed Washington for months, but it may end up being the long opening act for a fiscal drama with even higher stakes: the debt ceiling. Even as senators breathed a sigh of relief and overwhelmingly passed a historic tax deal to avert the much-feared fiscal cliff early Jan. 1, Congress was already lurching right into the new round of brinksmanship. – Joseph J. Schatz and Patrick Reis
Leading The New York Times: Tax Bill’s Fate in House Is Uncertain After Passing Senate
As the new year began on Tuesday, Congressional efforts to head off tax increases on most working Americans shifted to the House, where members began to pore over details of a plan passed by the Senate in the early morning hours as Republican leaders began the delicate task of assessing the measure’s fate in their chamber. – Jennifer Steinhauer
The political bites of the day
- New Meme Alert: Biden the evangelical -
DEMOCRATIC LEADER REP. STEVE ISRAEL IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S DANA BASH, TALKING ABOUT BIDEN’S VISIT TO THE HILL: “He was evangelical, converting a bunch of skeptics and I think he has persuaded our caucus there are pieces of this deal that everybody can dislike, but going off this cliff is something that no one can accept. And while everybody would prefer improvements, nobody could get the deal that he got and that the president got.”
- House members divided on fiscal cliff vote -
REPUBLICAN REP. MO BROOKS OF ALABAMA IN A SPEECH ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: “The Senate boasts it is America’s deliberative body. Today that claim rings hollow. Mr. Speaker, the House must postpone this vote until Congress and the American people have time to study and evaluate this extraordinarily complex legislation and its impact on taxes, revenue, the economy, our debt and a myriad of other issues. It is better to get it right than to act in haste.”
DEMOCRATIC REP. EARL BLUMENAUER OF OREGON IN A SPEECH ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: “We are losing an opportunity for reform. We cannot continue to have by far the world’s largest and most expensive military, the world’s lowest taxes, the most expensive and inefficient health care system and continue to allow our country’s infrastructure to fall apart all while America grows and ages. This agreement represents absolutely the least we could have done under these circumstances and tragically institutionalizes for the next Congress the madness of short term frenzy around artificial deadlines that drives the American public crazy.”
DEMOCRATIC REP. STEVE COHEN OF TENNESSEE IN A SPEECH ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: “I am going to vote for it not because I think it is all the best of sugar and spice and everything nice. But because for one thing I believe our president and our vice president know what they can get in a negotiated deal with the Republican side in the Senate and what might pass this House as well. And they know what our country needs and my district can’t afford to wait a few days and have the stock market go down 300 points tomorrow if we don’t get together and do something.”
- In the Senate, why they voted yes -
REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN HOEVEN OF NORTH DAKOTA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “I think it’s important to make sure we extend the lower tax rates for 99 percent-plus of the hard-working taxpayers in this country, made it permanent law, not only on the income tax but also in regards to capital gains, dividends and the estate tax. For small business, for farmers, for ranchers, that’s huge.”
REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN BARASSO OF WYOMING IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “No one got everything that they wanted. In Wyoming, the death tax issue is a major issue for farms and ranches and small businesses…It had a big impact for us.”
- In the Senate, why they voted no -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. TOM HARKIN IN A FLOOR SPEECH, SAYS AMERICA HAS: “an economy that is out of balance, that threatens the very fabric of our society. That is because the gap between the rich and the real middle class grows ever wider, that is because our economy is driven from the middle out, not from the top down. … I am disappointed to say that in my opinion, this legislation that we are about to vote on, falls short. … Mr. President, for these reasons, I must in conscience, vote no on this bill.”
REPUBLICAN SEN. MARCO RUBIO IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington. Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they'll pay this new tax and, chances are, they'll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.”
- Intriguing Opinion -
JONATHAN CHAIT, ON NEW YORK MAGAZINE’S WEBSITE: “What did Obama get in return for giving Republicans smaller tax hikes on the rich? He got a one-year extension of unemployment benefits, wind energy tax credits, and other temporary measures. In other words, he’s buying a little insurance to keep the recovery going in return for sacrificing long-term revenue. That’s a poor bargain but not an awful one. … What the tax deal fails to do is alleviate the looming threat of economic dysfunction posed by House Republicans.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi)
Strong majority of House Ds support bipartisan Senate bill that passed 89-8. Confident it will pass if @SpeakerBoehner allows up/down vote.
Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN)
Retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette tells @DanaBashCNN that Senate vote was made by "sleep-deprived octogenarians" early this morning.
Bret Baier (@BretBaier)
The Senate bill passed this am technically expires thursday at noon when the new congress is sworn in – RT @VZWken When is next deadline?
Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg)
Rep. Akin said Republicans didn’t seem particularly concerned by Senate threat to kill amended deal. “The Senate always rattles its sabre.”
Ryan Grim (@ryangrim)
GOPer on McConnell: "He jammed the House. He's gonna get re-jammed." http://huff.to/VheCXS
Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC)
If this bill becomes law, President Obama will reverse 20 years of Republican tax policy without any corresponding spending cuts.
Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui)
Rep. Cleaver (D-MO) coming out of meeting: Biden is "very persuasive." Dems don't like the deal but the VP is changing some minds already.
Kevin S. Burke (@KevinSBurke)
Is Biden Most Influential VP in History? Certainly he and Cheney have fundamentally changed the office – The Atlantic http://ow.ly/gszSd
James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ)
Pope Critiques "Unregulated Capitalism," Inequality Between Rich And Poor In New Year's Message http://huff.to/UGbMOt via @HuffPostRelig
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
It wasn’t until 45 B.C., when the Julian calendar took effect for the first time, that January 1 became New Years Day. So when the calendar turned from 45 to 44 B.C., revelers welcomed the first January 1 new year ever.
The decision to implement the Julian calendar stems from its namesake, Roman leader Julius Caesar. The original Roman calendar tried to follow the lunar cycle but regularly had to be corrected after the phases of the moon didn’t match with the calendar. So Caesar moved to fix the calendar and do away with the lunar cycle.
Enlisting the help of Sosigenes, a notable astronomer, the year was calculated – using the sun – to 365 and 1/4 days, relatively the same standard used today. Being a dictator, Caesar also took advantage of his power and changed the month of Quintilis to Julius, now known as July.
The practice of celebrating New Year’s on January first didn’t catch on until the 1500s, when the Roman church commissioned the creation of the Georgian calendar and implemented the “leap year.” Starting in 1582, people began gathering to celebrate the turn of the calendar and the New Year.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Patrick Millsaps (@PatrickMillsaps), who not only tweeted the correct answer to our trivia question – 45 BC – but also acknowledged the year when the practice became common, 1582. Nice work Patrick.
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