Speaker of the House John Boehner's job today was to try and sell House Republicans on the fiscal cliff deal hammered out by the Senate in the wee hours of last night. Eric Cantor is certainly making that as hard as possible.
House GOP members met this afternoon to go over the bill. Reports leaked early that there was some serious opposition to the Senate's bill during the meeting. "The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting," Boehner spokesperson Brendan Buck told reporters. Turns out, the number two House Republican Eric Cantor is one of the driving forces behind the opposition to the Senate's bill. He does not support the bill.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp says there are "real divisions" between Boehner and Cantor now.
Politico explains what the concerns of GOP members are:
The GOP consternation is mostly over the lack of spending cuts in the bill. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office estimated the accord would add $4 trillion to the deficit over a decade. Many lawmakers are also concerned about the proposed two-month delay to automatic spending cuts. Several lawmakers suggested that removing so-called extenders —business tax provisions —could help lessen the cost.
In the meeting, Rep. Steve LaTourette reportedly asked why the House would "heed the votes of sleep deprived octogenarians." LaTourette is retiring and also very good friends with John Boehner. It's beginning to look like the House might amend the bill and send it back to the Senate for a vote. Rep. Spencer Bachus told reporters he believes it will go back to the Senate.
One of the big worries is how the House sending the bill back to the Senate will affect the markets when they reopen tomorrow. Despite the fact that the country technically went over the cliff last night, the economy was spared because the markets weren't open for the holiday. There's serious concern over how they'll react in the morning if it doesn't look like the cliff deal is going to pass.
The feeling among the House Democrats who met earlier Tuesday was the complete opposite of the Republicans. There were reportedly cheers heard coming from the meeting. Joe Biden, the one who brokered the Senate deal with Mitch McConnell, told reporters their meeting was, "wonderful."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.