LORDY LORDY, GOD LUV A DUCK. THE DO NOTHING CONGRESS DID SOMETHING! AIN'T IT AMAZING?
Senate approves fiscal cliff legislation
WASHINGTON — Hours past a self-imposed deadline for action, the Senate passed legislation early New Year’s Day to neutralize a fiscal cliff combination of across-theboard tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in at midnight. The pre-dawn vote was 89-8. Senate passage set the stage for a final showdown in the House, where a vote was expected later Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday.
The activity at both ends of historic Pennsylvania Avenue was remarkable as the administration and lawmakers spent the final hours of 2012 haggling over longfestering differences.
“It shouldn’t have taken this long to come to an agreement, and this shouldn’t be the model for how we do things around here,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who negotiated the agreement with Vice President Joe Biden.
Under the deal, taxes would remain steady for the middle class and rise at incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples — levels higher than President Barack Obama had campaigned for in his drive for a second term in office.
Spending cuts totaling $24 billion over two months aimed at the Pentagon and domestic programs would be deferred. That would allow the White House and lawmakers time to regroup before plunging very quickly into a new round of budget brinkmanship certain to revolve around Republican calls to rein in the cost of Medicare and other government benefit programs.
Officials also decided at the last minute to use the measure to prevent a $900 pay raise for lawmakers due to take effect this spring.
“One thing we can count on with respect to this Congress is that if there’s even one second left before you have to do what you’re supposed to do, they will use that last second,” the president said in a mid-afternoon status update on the talks.
As darkness fell Monday, Obama, Biden and their aides were at work in the White House, and lights burned in the House and Senate. Democrats complained that Obama had given away too much in agreeing to limit tax increases to incomes over $450,000, far above the $250,000 level he campaigned on. Yet some Republicans recoiled at the prospect of raising taxes at all.
Democratic senators said they expected a post-midnight vote on the measure. They spoke after a closeddoor session with Vice President Joseph Biden, who brokered the deal with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
“The argument is that this is the best that can be done on a bipartisan basis,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, DCalif., when asked about the case the vice president had delivered behind closed doors.
This congress is disgusting. Let's wait for the very last second to pass what we know we have to pass in the first place. Let's place the American public in second place to our own disgusting behaviors. I'll never ever vote in another Republican if my life depends on it. They are a curse on us The People of this country. I hope more of you out there feel the same.
Mark my words, the Debt Ceiling will be another debacle. They'll wait for the very last second and then vote to raise it. It has to be raised, everybody knows it or we'll default on our loans. But the Republican congress would allow that to happen if they could and send this country into a depression deeper than the 1920's.
I am supremely disgusted with this group of nincompoops.