PHOENIX, December 31, 2012 ― The fiscal cliff is here and the United States is going over it, as leaders in the House of Representatives announced late Monday that there will no vote on any deal before midnight to avert the fiscal cliff deadline.
“We don’t have anything to vote on before midnight,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck tweeted. “The House will take action after the Senate passes something.”
In the Senate, Republicans have reached an agreement with the White House on taxes, allowing a permanent extension of the current rates on those earning less than $400 thousand per year.
However, the Senate has not announced any plans to vote on the new tax agreement, as the scheduled sequestration cuts is holding up a final Senate fiscal cliff deal. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell urged the Senate to vote on the new tax agreement and hold off on sequestration discussions until later in January.
If the Senate does pass a deal later in the evening, House leaders have said they will consider the bill. However, it is unclear if Boehner has the votes to pass the potential Senate deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
The Department of Defense has also signaled that they will order furloughs for nearly 800,000 civilian employees if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement to avoid sequestration by Wednesday, when the cuts are expected to take place.
Congress could find other ways to allocated funding for the Pentagon despite the cuts, however, that prospect has yet to be seen.
This story is developing….
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