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Fiscal Cliff News: Live Updates On Congress, White House Negotiations

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House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves a Republican caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Squarely in the spotlight, House Republicans leaders shopped a Senate-approved "fiscal cliff" compromise to rank-and-file colleagues on New Year's Day and heard concerns that the accord lacked sufficient spending cuts. Vice President Joe Biden tried rallying House Democrats behind the deal in a separate meeting. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) | AP

Congressional leaders are still engaged in negotiations over the fiscal cliff.

The Senate passed a last-minute plan at 2 a.m. Tuesday with a vote of 89 to 8. The plan came about after a late-night visit from Vice President Joe Biden on New Year's Eve.

Below, a live blog of the latest developments in the negotiations:

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Throughout the day, rumors of a rift between House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and how it might impact the fate of the Senate-passed fiscal cliff bill dominated reports on Capitol Hill.

Ultimately, the Speaker cast his vote for the bill, which passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 257 to 167. But both Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) voted against the bill -- confirming earlier speculation that GOP leadership was far apart with respect to a pathway forward. Despite attempts by Cantor's office to downplay rumors of infighting, some House Republicans said the disagreement was there for all to see.

"I think there's some significant divisions within leadership as demonstrated on this vote," Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told The Huffington Post after the vote.

"I noted that in that first conference around noon where Cantor said he was a no [and] Boehner kind of left it up in the air," he adding, noting that it was during the second caucus meeting on Tuesday evening that Boehner admitted he would vote for the Senate bill without any amendment when members of his caucus pressed him on the issue.

"I think there's a tremendous dissatisfaction within the caucus over what's occurred in the last two years -- so many missed opportunities," Huelskemp continued. "And now at the end of the day, after 25 years, we're going to abandon a clear Republican principled position against tax increases? You can spin it however you want to, but at the end of the day it's a tax increase."

Earlier in the day, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) also spoke of the discord among the Speaker and Majority Leader.

"The only thing I know is the Leader said that he personally did not support the Speaker [on the fiscal cliff deal]," Fleming said.

Meanwhile, Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper once again tried to quell the rumors following the vote, telling reporters that the Leader was "very proud" of Boehner and the entire Republican conference for "fighting the good fight." But when asked why Cantor couldn't show his support for the Speaker by voting with him on the bill, Cooper conceded Cantor was displeased with the outcome.

"The Majority Leader was not happy with the bill that was passed in the Senate this morning," Cooper said. "He worked all day today to try to craft an alternative today as did the rest of leadership and many members of our conference. [But] it was clear that Harry Reid was not going to allow an amendment to cut spending even though that was sorely needed."

--Sabrina Siddiqui

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Following Tuesday night's passage of the fiscal cliff deal in the House, a Senior Democratic aide shared a glimpse into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's involvement in coming to an agreement over the last 72 hours. Part of that included a review of the final language with President Barack Obama stemming from negotiations between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and keeping chained CPI off the table for a scaled-down package.

Read excerpts from the aide's account below:

As the deal came together over December 30 and 31, Leader Pelosi was in continual contact with the President, Vice President and Senator Reid. After her Caucus met early evening on December 30, Pelosi spoke with the Vice President twice and also with the President. Pelosi had a lengthy conversation with the President on New Year’s Eve reviewing the final language from the negotiations and then released a statement late that evening saying that she would present the package to the House Democratic Caucus once the Senate acted.

Following the lengthy Caucus Meeting with the Vice President on January 1, Pelosi consulted with Hoyer and decided she would publicly show her hand to increase pressure on Speaker Boehner. In her tweet, Pelosi stated she had a “strong majority” among House Democrats for the bill and echoed her call earlier in the day for Speaker Boehner to allow and up or down vote.

Following the White House meeting on Friday, December 28, Pelosi spoke by telephone with the President, Vice President, Senators Reid and McConnell separately, and Speaker Boehner. In those conversations, Pelosi stressed that a straight extension of Kyl-Lincoln would not garner the requisite House Democratic votes needed for a final package. Pelosi pushed and successfully secured the 40 percent rate increase to Kyl-Lincoln, which is an additional revenue gain of billion over ten years from high end taxpayers.

In the closing hours of the negotiations, Pelosi continually pushed for additional revenue from the wealthy. She successfully pushed for the Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) to be set at 0k/0k. These two concessions Pelosi and her Caucus fought for will raise 2 billion over 10 years from high end taxpayers.

Throughout the negotiations, Pelosi made it clear that an increase in the Medicare eligibility age was unacceptable and went public with her views early in the negotiations. As Speaker Boehner and Republicans walked away from another “grand bargain”-sized package, she ensured chained CPI was not a part of this package. Lastly, the final Senate-passed tax agreement includes no cuts to the Affordable Care Act.

--Sabrina Siddiqui

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@ markknoller : Bill passes with 37 hours remaining in the 112th Congress.

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@ rebeccagberg : Speaker Boehner just left the House chamber. I asked him why he decided to vote in favor of the deal: He did not respond.

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@ SabrinaSiddiqui : The fiscal cliff bill has officially passed the House.

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The Senate version of the legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff is littered with favors for select corporations. But it also includes a prime provision for troubled homeowners who receive mortgage relief from their banks.

Without the special clause, the limited foreclosure relief efforts that are currently in the works would be extinguished. Banks have been extremely reluctant to grant families debt relief on mortgages facing foreclosure. But tax policy is poised to poison any debt relief that borrowers could receive from banks -- unless Congress acts.

Millions of homes are worth far less today than what buyers paid for them during the housing bubble. Banks can often save money for themselves and investors by writing down the value of a troubled mortgage to the current value of the house -- thus averting costly foreclosure expenses. At midnight on January 1, 2013, the tax policy for this relief changed. Any debt that banks forgave would be counted as ordinary, taxable income for the borrower. If a 0,000 mortgage is written down to a 0,000 current home value, the homeowner is suddenly burdened with a tax bill for 0,000 in income.

As a result, a homeowner struggling to pay the bills would be faced with tens of thousands of dollars in taxes. That would destroy any hope of establishing future mortgage debt relief for troubled homeowners, as any bank leniency would result in heavy tax trauma for borrowers.

But the Senate version of the fiscal cliff bill would delay this tax policy change for a year. If the deal passes the House, the few mortgage modifications that are currently in the works will be able to proceed.

-- Zach Carter

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American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas released the following statement on the latest fiscal cliff proposal:

"The American Conservative Union simply cannot accept or support the Senate Bill as passed this morning, which does nothing to reign in out of control spending. Given the dire financial situation our country faces, ACU would have supported, albeit reluctantly, the Bush era tax cut extensions for those with incomes under 0,000 to 0,000 and supported the Death Tax provisions that maintain the current exemptions and are indexed for inflation. This is vital for our family farms and family-owned businesses. Our nation has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Rather than do the essential work of cutting spending, the current bill actually adds even more deficit spending. Congress needs to make the hard decisions now for the future of our children and grandchildren. Therefore, ACU recommends that the House take the non-tax provisions out of the Senate Bill and pass it. They should then go back to the drawing board and put together a comprehensive plan to responsibly deal with unemployment insurance, the Farm Bill, special interest tax subsidies and replacing the sequester with targeted spending cuts in a way that would be in line with our conservative values."

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@ OKnox : Dem. Rep. Hastings tells reporters GOP going w. clean up/down vote on Senate deal. "They're crazy but they're not that batshit crazy"

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After their second conference meeting of the day on the fiscal cliff deal, House Republicans seemed subdued and were beginning to back away from a fresh showdown with the Democratic-led Senate.

Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) told reporters that House Speaker John Boehner explained to the caucus that Boehner would vote for the Senate bill, if that were the choice.

"I think he showed he's trying to listen to the conference in regards to giving everybody an equal shot at moving something forward," said Nugent. "But you also have to be pragmatic about what's going to pass."

"When you have a bill passed with so many Republicans in the Senate, it probably would get a similar result [in the House]," said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), comparing the situation to the 2011 end-of-year battle over the payroll tax cuts, which the House balked at then ultimately passed after 89 senators had voted for them -- the same as voted early Tuesday for the fiscal cliff deal.

Republicans seemed to be looking forward to future chances to extract cuts. "We still have more opportunities. We've got the debt ceiling coming, sequestration," Fleming said. "So we're going to get taxes off the table. The president can't say, 'We've go to raise taxes first before we get to spending cuts.' We will have already done that.Now the topic will be spending cuts, from this point out."

It remained undecided whether there would be a vote on the Senate bill or an amended Senate, and whether it would be voted on tonight or Wednesday.

-- Michael McAuliff

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@ DanaBashCNN : About to report w/ @AliVelshi : sentiment emerging among house repubs that the house will just vote up or down on senate bill no amendment

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Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said Tuesday there are enough votes among House Republicans to pass the Senate fiscal cliff bill without any amendments -- so long as a majority of Democrats support it.

"There are some Republicans who do support this along with Democrats," Fleming told reporters after the second GOP caucus meeting Tuesday, adding that he thought the number would be sufficient to get the Senate-passed bill through the House.

Fleming said he does not support the bill but thought it would be a "waste of time" to amend it when Senate Democratic leaders have already said they would reject any amendments to the legislation -- and he was confident most Republicans did not want to go down that road.

"I don't think the amendment will have 218 votes, because the sentiment I'm getting from people is this will put us in the same kind of situation we're in with the payroll tax where we sent something back to the Senate and the Senate wouldn't take it up," Fleming said. "So I think they're unlikely to take it up."

Fleming also weighed in on the alleged disagreement between House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) over the fiscal cliff deal and said that he did not feel the two men were on the same page.

"I think there's a division between the speaker and the leader on this. The only thing I know is the Leader said that he personally did not support the speaker," Fleming said. "I heard the speaker say he is going to vote for the bill -- we're talking without amendments. [But] it's always possible the leader will vote with Speaker Boehner just in unity even though he personally doesn't support it."

Shortly before the meeting, Cantor spokesman Doug Heye pushed back against rumors of a rift between Boehner and the Majority Leader, tweeting, "Majority Leader Cantor stands with @SpeakerBoehner. Speculation otherwise is silly, non-productive and untrue."

Boehner presented his caucus with two options during the meeting: amend the Senate bill with approximately 8 billion in spending cuts, if a majority commit to passing it, or hold a vote on the Senate-passed legislation with no amendments.

--Sabrina Siddiqui

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A senior House Republican staffer from the conference's most conservative wing summed up his latest sense of the state of play.

"My gut is that this 'deal' falls apart, and we have to start over when the 113th Congress reconvenes later this week," the aide told HuffPost by e-mail.

-- Jon Ward

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A House GOP leadership aide mapped out House Speaker John Boehner's plan forward: See if the 218 votes are there to amend the Senate-passed bill to add in spending cuts, and if the answer is no, hold an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed bill.

From the aide:

"The Speaker presented his members two options. The first would be to make an amendment to the Senate bill that would add a package of spending cuts. The Whip will do a whip check on this spending cuts amendment after the meeting. If we can get the commitment of 218 votes on this amendment, we will bring it to the floor and send it to the Senate. The Speaker and the Leader both cautioned members about the risk in such a strategy. They told them there is no guarantee the Senate would act on it. If we cannot get the commitment of 218 votes tonight, we will bring up the Senate-passed measure for an up-or-down vote in the House.

Members said that the amendment would include about 8 billion in cuts, although none spelled out what those cuts would be.

-- Jen Bendery and Michael McAuliff

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The Senate adjourned until noon on Wednesday, which means if the House does alter the fiscal cliff deal, there is no chance the Senate would follow suit today.

In any case, Democrats there say they wouldn't take it up anyway.

-- Michael McAuliff

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Not only could Republican changes to the fiscal cliff deal create a measure that the Senate refuses to take up, it could create a bill that's actually tougher on the GOP.


As the measure stands now, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would push Democrats to hold their noses and back the bill, which is not enthusiastically supported. There could be around 150 Democratic votes in favor, meaning fewer than 70 Republicans would have to sign on.

But if Republicans amend the deal with anything Dems like less, all bets are off, said one Democratic source.

House Speaker John Boehner would then have to compel more of his caucus to back the deal, and he was unable to get that sort of support when he tried his Plan B proposal to set the tax-cut cut-off at million -- more than double what passed the Senate early this morning.

"It would just kill this thing," a Democrat said. "It wouldn't pass."

House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) was asked if amending the bill is the equivalent of killing it. "To me, that's the case," he said, according to Fox News' Chad Pergram.

-- Michael McAuliff

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Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) spokesman Doug Heye tweeted out a peace offering to House Speaker John Boehner, a sign that leadership is coming together and moving closer to a path to passage of the Senate bill.

"Majority Leader Cantor stands with @SpeakerBoehner. Speculation otherwise is silly, non-productive and untrue," Heye tweeted.

-- Ryan Grim

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Three influential conservative groups that helped to defeat Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" before Christmas called for a "no" vote on the fiscal cliff deal struck by the White House and the Senate. The calls of opposition from these groups appear to have been heard by House Republicans, who are refusing to support the deal passed by the Senate.

The ultra-conservative Club for Growth stated, "This bill raises taxes immediately with the promise of cutting spending later. Tax rates will go up on marginal income, capital gains, dividends, and even certain estates when a person passes away. But it also delays the sequester for at least two months, breaking the promise made by Congress in 2011 to cut government spending. And, among other things, it includes an unpaid for extension of unemployment benefits."

Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, echoed these concerns, "To be clear, this is a tax increase. ... Heritage Action opposes the kick-the-can tax increase and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard."

FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe opposed Senate passage of the deal and wrote to his group's members to call their senator to express their opposition. "I urge you to call your state’s two U.S. Senators and ask them to vote NO on the McConnell-Obama bill to raise taxes and postpone the promised sequester savings. We will count any vote on this proposal as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2012."

A fourth group, the Koch brothers-controlled Americans for Prosperity, stopped short of calling for supporters to oppose the deal, but did blast both the deal's contents and the way it was being passed.

"The package is being rushed through at the last minute, possibly voiding the Speaker’s promise that the country would be able to review legislation for three days before the House voted on it. Much like the President’s health care law, it looks like we’ll have to pass the tax bill to find out what’s in it," Americans for Prosperity policy director James Valvo wrote on AFP's blog.

Both the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks are known for getting involved in Republican primary elections to oppose lawmakers that they deem insufficiently conservative. In the past three elections, the Club for Growth defeated four incumbent lawmakers in primaries including Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.). The group's primary opposition to the late Arlen Specter led him to switch parties in 2009 to run for reelection as a Democrat.

-- Paul Blumenthal

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Some Democrats were already thinking out loud about what will follow the collapse of the Senate deal, which they now expect.

If Republicans attempt to offer amendments -- as is expected -- Democrats will oppose a rule to allow that to happen procedurally.

If the GOP then tries to pass an amended bill, "they will have to do it with their own votes," said Rep. James Clyburn, (D- S.C.), a member of the leadership. Either scenario would kill the deal.

If the GOP doesn't offer an up or down vote on the Senate deal, well, that would kill the deal, too.

And then what? "Well, I say that then we wait for the new Congress to come in on Thursday. We'll have better numbers, more members on our side," said Clyburn. "Then we offer a new bill that they will like even less. They didn't like the 450 (thousand dollar in household income) floor on the tax increase? Let's see how much they like it when we push it back down to 250 (thousand)!"

-- Howard Fineman

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Following a three-hour meeting with their caucus that included a discussion with Vice President Joe Biden, House Democratic leadership called on House Speaker John Boehner to bring the Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

"The United States Senate voted in an uncharacteristically, very strong bipartisan way -- 89 votes in favor of the compromise legislation -- that's historic," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill. "Up until now, the speaker has said when the Senate acts, we will have a vote in the House. That is what he said, that is what we expect, that is what the American people deserve."

She added that she thought there had been "gigantic progress," but stopped short of saying whether she anticipated having enough votes from members of her caucus to see the bill through the lower chamber.

"Right now, our members after very thoughtful deliberations and review are continuing to review the legislation, weighing the pros and cons and weighing the equities of not going over the cliff," Pelosi said. "But we're all very eager to see the form that the Republican leadership will put onto the floor today … our members are making their decisions now."

But even though the deal negotiated between Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is unpopular across both parties, a House leadership aide was confident the majority of House Democrats would get behind the bill.

"There's concern among members, but no one [is] really saying they'll vote no," the aide said in an email.

-- Sabrina Siddiqui

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Republicans emerging from their first of two meetings on the fiscal cliff deal Tuesday were unanimously displeased with the spending measures in the bill the Senate passed in the very early hours of New Year's Day.

“The speaker and leader laid out options to the members and listened to feedback," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). "The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting. Conversations with members will continue throughout the afternoon on the path forward.”

Members stated their objections just as plainly.

The majority of us, and I'm one of those, is not satisfied with what the Senate sent over," said Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). "The membership is very concerned about the increase spending in the bill."

Many seemed interested in changing the bill, but also worried that it could get killed, creating a deeply uncertain atmosphere on Capitol Hill and in the financial markets.

"I would say that that's a strong possibility -- that there will be some changes on the floor that will get back to the Senate," Jones said.

"It may go back with, as someone said, not a poison pill, just enough to give 'em a little heartburn and get it done," said Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.).

-- Michael McAuliff

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A union for federal employees has criticized a tentative "fiscal cliff" deal that would lead to funding cuts for federal agencies, saying lawmakers should curb federal contractor pay rather than ask federal employees for sacrifices.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents 670,000 workers, said it was "concerned" about the Senate proposal to pay for the delay of the sequester with unspecified agency cuts.

"How agencies will achieve these amounts is not clear in the language of the bill," J. David Cox Sr., the union’s president, said in a statement. "Before they look any further at unpaid furloughs or other cuts to critical agency programs, [the White House’s Office of Management and Budget] should sharply reduce the amount taxpayers provide to federal contractors for excessive salaries for their top executives."

The unions representing federal employees have been worried for months that a fiscal cliff deal hammered out by lawmakers would lead to further pay freezes or furloughs at federal agencies. Federal workers haven't had a raise in two years due to an extended pay freeze, and new federal workers will be facing significantly higher pension costs.

Arguing for shared sacrifice, AFGE has tried to pressure Congress to lower the cap for the taxpayer-subsidized salaries of federal contractors, from its current level of roughly 0,000 down to the vice president's salary of 0,000.

-- Dave Jamieson

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fiscal cliff

Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a House Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the legislation that will blunt the effects of the fiscal cliff before a rare New Year's Day session on Tuesday. Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) negotiated the deal that produced The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which passed the Senate after midnight on New Year's Day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Democrat and GOP leaders are currently on the phone with each other trying to see who has which votes, reports Howard Fineman, editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group.

Democrats think they can get 140-150 Democratic votes but are not sure -- and neither are the GOPers -- that the GOP side can get enough votes to pass the Senate deal, he said.

Fineman reports that Democrats don't want to be blamed for going over the cliff, but GOP Tea Partiers may see it as a perverse act of courage to do so.

-- Howard Fineman

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The few Republicans who have filed out of the House GOP meeting have sounded cautionary notes about the fiscal cliff deal, suggesting it faces serious trouble.

"I'd be shocked if this bill did not go back," said Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The biggest complaint is the lack of spending cuts.

"We've got to provide responsible spending balance long-term," said Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) "This bill does not do that."

The few Republicans who have filed out of the House GOP meeting have sounded cautionary notes about the fiscal cliff deal, suggesting it faces serious trouble.

"I'd be shocked if this bill did not go back," said Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The biggest complaint is the lack of spending cuts.

"We've got to provide responsible spending balance long-term," said Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) "This bill does not do that."

-- Mike McAuliff

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At 2:06 p.m. Tuesday, Biden swept out of back door of a Democratic caucus meeting about the fiscal cliff deal without giving any concrete indication of what had gone on in an hour and a half of talking and answering questions.

I asked him if he had the votes and he said, "you're an old hand and you know that I never predict the vote." I asked him what the most effective argument was that he had made and he said, "you'll have to ask the members that."

He smiled the usual Biden sincerely frozen grimace and added, "I'm a 'foreign policy expert!' Why am I here doing this?"

Then he disappeared up the escalator surrounded by a cloud of aides and security officers.

-- Howard Fineman

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka put out several tweets Monday night urging lawmakers to put the brakes on the fiscal cliff deal being negotiated in the Senate. The deal ended up passing that chamber. And as it made its way to the House Tuesday morning, Trumka was sounding a bit more favorably disposed to the legislation, albeit with some criticisms peppered in.

His full statement is below:

The agreement passed by the Senate last night is a breakthrough in beginning to restore tax fairness and achieves some key goals of working families. It does not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. It raises over 0 billion over 10 years, including interest savings, by ending the Bush income tax cuts for families making over 0,000 a year. And in recognition of the continuing jobs crisis, it extends unemployment benefits for a year. A strong message from voters and a relentless echo from grassroots activists over the last six weeks helped get us this far.

But lawmakers should have listened even better. The deal extends the Bush tax cuts for families earning between 0,000 and 0,000 a year and makes permanent Bush estate tax cuts exempting estates valued up to million from any tax. These concessions amount to over 0 billion in additional tax cuts for the 2%.

And because of Republican hostage taking, the deal simply postpones the .2 trillion sequester for only two months and does not address the debt ceiling, setting the stage for more fiscal blackmail at the expense of the middle class.

Instead of moving to address our nation’s real jobs and public investment crisis, our leaders will be debating a prolonged artificial fiscal crisis. In the weeks to come, as the confrontation over the economic direction of our country continues, the working men and women of the AFL-CIO will continue to fight to keep poor and middle class families from giving more so rich people can continue paying less. That means a fairer, more progressive tax system, an end to Bush tax rates for the 2% and protection of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts.

-- Sam Stein

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A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the point of the Republican meeting going on this afternoon on Capitol Hill was purely to explain the fiscal cliff deal. Boehner was not making any recommendations on how members should vote, contrary to some reporting.

Such a recommendation would more likely come in a second meeting later Tuesday, after Republicans digest what they learn.

-- Michael McAuliff

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The fiscal cliff deal adds .9 trillion to the deficit, over the next 10 years, at least technically.

That's because while most people assumed most of the Bush-era tax cuts would be extended, the Congressional Budget Office must look only at what the law says. The law called for letting all the cuts expire, which would have brought in more than trillion. The fiscal cliff deal lets most of that revenue go, letting rates increase only for single filers above 0,000 and 0,000 for couples.

The CBO estimates are here.

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The Senate deal to avert the cliff includes a one-year extension of a tax provision that prevents foreclosure victims from getting hit with a huge tax bill after they lose their homes, according to the legislation as written.

-- Ryan Grim

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