Will the House GOP Blow Up the Deal?

So here’s the latest on House GOP discussions about the fiscal deal that breezed through the Senate from Politico‘s Sherman and Brown:

An overwhelming number of House Republicans in a party meeting are calling on their leadership to amend the Senate’s bill to avert the fiscal cliff and send it back to the upper chamber, according to several sources in the Tuesday afternoon meeting.

GOP leadership has not made a decision on what to do with the Senate-passed tax hike bill. They are using this meeting to listen to lawmaker concerns. They’ll have another meeting this afternoon, where a decision could come on whether to bring the bill to the floor.

Here’s the quote of the day about the prevailing sentiment among House Republicans:

Retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio asked House Republicans why the House would “heed the votes of sleep deprived octogenarians,” according to a source in the meeting.

Amending the bill would throw into serious flux the carefully negotiated agreement between Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden.
Rep. Spencer Bachus said after exiting the Republican meeting that he expects the House to amend the fiscal cliff deal and send it back to the Senate.

“I would be shocked if this bill didn’t go back to the Senate,” Bachus said.
The consternation is mostly about the lack spending cuts in the bill. Budgetary impact shows the accord adding to the deficit. Many lawmakers are also concerned about the two-month delay to automatic spending cuts.

It’s unclear whether the concern over the two-month delay in sequestrations is from deficit hawks who want the cuts to happen, or from Republicans who don’t want the permanent cancellation of Pentagon cuts to serve as Democratic leverage in the debt limit fight that will occur right as the delay ends. But there’s not much doubt insistence by the House on significant domestic spending cuts would threaten Democratic support for the deal in the Senate.

Stay tuned as 2013 gets off to a crazy and muddled start.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.