Senate CLIFF bill would pass House if only allowed to be voted
House act on Senate legislation passed in July that would raise tax rates only on incomes above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Obama has been pushing for a variant of that Senate bill that would include an extension of jobless aid and some surgical spending reductions to prevent the steeper and broader spending cuts from kicking in.
For the Senate to act would require a commitment from McConnell not to demand a 60-vote margin to consider the legislation on the Senate floor. McConnell's office says it's too early to make such an assessment because Obama's plan is unclear on whether extended benefits for the unemployed would be paid for with cuts in other programs or on how it would deal with an expiring estate tax, among other issues.
What's more, Boehner would have to let the bill get to the House floor for a vote. Given the calendar, chances of accomplishing that by Monday were becoming a long shot.