Lawmakers Leave Capitol Without a Deal
Washington D.C. lawmakers in both chambers left the capitol on early Sunday night after negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff fell apart in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) said there is "still time left to reach an agreement.” In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will continue negotiations on the phone tonight with Vice President Joe Biden.
McConnell told reporters, “There’s no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. The sticking point appears to be the willingness and interest or frankly the courage to close the deal. I want everyone to know, I’m willing to get this done, but I need a dance partner.”
At least 50 House GOP members elected two years ago during the tea party wave are key votes to satisfy in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Congressman Robert Andrews (D – NJ) told reporters he believes Speaker of the House John Boehner (R – OH) cannot do his job with fiscal cliff negotiations because the tea party is a “problem” for the Republican leader.
“There’s the tea party. I think it’s an aberrant strain of the Republican Party that knows what it doesn’t like; knows what it’s angry about, but doesn’t know what it wants to do,” said Andrews.
“I think [Boehner will] survive on January 3rd, sure, but on four occasions the country’s been—in these two years—the country’s been brought to the brink of real economic harm, because a small group on their side doesn’t want anything,” Andrews added.
Congressman Pat Tiberi (R – OH) shot back at Andrews remarks saying that the tea party is not giving Boehner “anymore problems than moveon.org or code pink is giving Ms. Pelosi.”
Rep. Tiberi told Breitbart News that the GOP House Conference’s rejection of Speaker Boehner’s Plan B is not hurting the caucus saying, “I think we’re a lot more united than we are divided.”
He added, “A super majority of our members supported that and there were ones that didn’t, because there were differences as to why people didn’t support it. There wasn’t one reason that united the opposition of Plan B.”
Tiberi explained further that the House GOP is putting the onus on Senator Reid:
“Here are the facts. We did our business. We passed a bill. We passed two bills. We passed one on taxes and one on sequestration. The way that School House Rock worked when I was a kid, until the health care bill that is, the House passes a bill; sends it to the Senate; the Senate either accepts it or changes it. It goes back to the House and we have a conference Committee. And the Senate refuses to do that. They’ve not taken up our bill to this minute of today. The bill that they passed is a joke.”
Congressman Tom Price (R – GA) agreed telling Breitbart News, “The Senate’s got to act. If the Senate acts, then we might be able to respond, but the Senate’s got to act.”
Price said that the conference is currently “solid” since the rejection of Plan B. “It appears the Senate can’t do anything. They can’t pass a budget—can’t pass a bill. It’s time for them to work,” he said.
The House will resume legislative business on Monday morning.