After weeks of tense negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans, the House approved a Senate-passed bill on Tuesday to avert the fiscal cliff. Although the bill increases tax rates on some of the wealthiest Americans and delays sequestration for two months, it is not the broader “grand bargain” that many observers wanted. In the coming months, Congress will also have to deal with the debt ceiling, which Republicans are hoping to use as leverage to get significant spending cuts, and what former White House official Tony Fratto calls “fiscal cascades.”
Why Harry Reid Was Sidelined for Joe Biden
[National Journal, 1/1/13] In the end, a Senate deal wasn’t made between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell but instead between McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. NJ's Ben Terris tells us why the Nevada Democrat was sidelined.
Here's What's in the Fiscal-Cliff Deal
[National Journal, 1/1/13] Congress on New Year's Day approved legislation to address the year-end tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The measure passed the House late on Tuesday after the Senate approved it earlier in the day. NJ's Catherine Hollander explains what’s in it.
Deal Ignores Threats to Economy
[Washington Post, 1/2/13] Although some in Washington are praising the passage of the fiscal-cliff deal, analysts say the bill did not address broader entitlement reforms or the deficit reduction. Another looming threat: the debt ceiling.
McConnell, the Master Tactician, Emerges as Closer in 'Cliff' Deal
[National Journal, 1/1/13] Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has once again reprised his role as a behind-the-scenes power broker who can step in and save the day when Washington descends into partisan chaos.
The Fiscal Cliff Deal That Almost Wasn't
[Politico, 1/2/13] Fiscal-cliff negotiations between Republicans and Democrats were difficult at times, illustrated in a Politico anecdote where sources claim to have seen House Speaker John Boehner confront Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday—using colorful language.
How John Boehner Finally Got the Fiscal-Cliff Deal to Obama
[National Journal, 1/1/13] Although considering a last-minute amendment to the Senate-passed deal, Speaker Boehner determined an amended version of the bill would not have a chance in the Senate. The Washington Post has the roll call.
Global Markets Rise on Fiscal Deal
[New York Times, 1/1/13] Global markets from Europe to Asia performed strongly after a fiscal-cliff deal was reached. Analysts feared that a failed deal would have left stocks falling sharply and possibly pushing the global economy back into recession.
A Bitter End for House Republican Freshmen
[National Journal, 1/1/13] The fiscal deal is not the end note the House Republican freshman class could have imagined when they were sworn into the 112th Congress two years ago. NJ’s Matthew Cooper also writes that the tea party ironically forced the tax hike.
Fiscal-Cliff Deal Includes Farm Bill Extension
[Politico, 1/1/13] Also included in the deal passed by both houses of Congress is a nine-month farm-bill extension, preventing a sharp increase in dairy prices. Congress had previously failed to agree on a broader five-year bill.
Winners and Losers from a Fiscal-Cliff Deal
[National Journal, 1/1/13] Middle and lower-income taxpayers are the main beneficiaries of the deal, but there are other winners—and losers—of the last-minute scramble to avert scheduled tax increases and spending cuts.
Fiscal Cliff Won't Be the Last You Hear From Simpson and Bowles
[National Journal, 1/1/13] With an effort to bring a grand bargain back to the top of the agenda in Washington in early 2013, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson will soon try to build a groundswell of support for broad deficit reduction.
Despite Deal, Taxes to Rise for Most Americans
[Associated Press, 1/1/13] Congress failed to prevent a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring in the fiscal-cliff deal, which means that most Americans will still see an increase in federal income taxes in 2013.