The fate of the fiscal crisis bill continued to be in doubt this afternoon as House Republicans leaders joined their rank-and-file in decrying the lack of spending cuts- further clouding the chances for smooth passage with less than two days left before a new Congressional class is sworn in.
Democratic House leaders said Tuesday the time for talk was over and pushed their Republican counterparts for an up or down vote on the legislation passed by the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning. But even as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called for a compromise, word came that the No. 2 House Republican, Eric Cantor, opposed the bill.
“I do not support it,” Cantor told reporters after a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans.
Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, said sentiment among House Republicans was to amend the bill to incorporate more spending cuts. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., echoed the statement.
“I’d be shocked if this does not go back to the Senate” with changes by the House, Bachus said.
But time for the House — and for Americans — is running out.
Realistically, rejection by the Republican-controlled House means that fiscal talks about have to start all over again when the new Congressional class is seated on Thursday. And that means, Americans will be left paying for the pricey political stalemate. Taxes would jump by $2,400 on average for families with incomes of $50,000 to $75,000, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. And because consumers would get less of their paychecks to spend, businesses and jobs would suffer as well.
Americans would also feel cuts in government services; some federal workers would be furloughed or laid off and companies would lose government business. The nation would lose up to 3.4 million jobs, the Congressional Budget Office predicts.
The longer the stalemate drags on, the greater the risk for the economy and taxpayers.
House conservatives had begun voicing frustration about the lopsided ratio of tax increases in the plan, as compared with net spending cuts. One estimate showed the bill includes $620 billion in tax hikes and $15 billion is spending cuts. As one House Republican told Fox News, “I can’t imagine a ratio such as that warming our fiscal hearts.”
The House GOP leadership team said any decision on whether to accept or amend any Senate-passed bill would not be made until the House and the American people “have been able to review the legislation.”
Not all Democrats have been on board either.
“Looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said earlier in the day. Harkin voted against the bill, as did Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Of the tax hike, President Obama said: “Middle class families can’t afford it, businesses can’t afford it, our economy can’t afford it.”
The tax hikes, combined with the spending cuts, could trigger another recession if they are not dealt with soon, economists warn. The fiscal deal, though, still pushes off a permanent decision on the spending cuts until two months down the road, when lawmakers could find themselves in a similar position — only this time, with the debt ceiling playing a far more prominent role.
Read more at FOX NEWS.