Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), former president of the Club for Growth, said that was a non-starter.
“I still hope we can avert the worst consequences of the fiscal cliff and protect as many Americans as possible from a massive tax increase,” Toomey said. “Unfortunately, the most recent proposal from the Democrats calls for new tax increases to pay for more government spending. We need less spending, not more, in Washington.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) agreed. “It’s impossible to get to any deal on the fiscal cliff when Majority Leader Reid and President Obama refuse to consider meaningful cuts in spending. They are demanding we raise taxes on working families and small businesses – and worse – using these tax increases for more government spending,” he said. “Sending more taxpayer dollars to Washington isn’t the solution to this situation; cutting wasteful government spending and enabling Americans to keep more of their own money is.”
The ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee confirmed that no deal had been reached that Congress could vote on, “much less one that could be scored by CBO or scrutinized by the American people.”
“The biggest obstacle we face is that President Obama and Majority Leader Reid continue to insist on new taxes that will be used to fund more new spending, not for meaningful deficit reduction. The result is nearly $9 trillion in new debt accumulation over the next decade, which represents virtually no change from current projections,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
“By now, it should be clear to all that secret negotiations are not working. In the new year, the Senate must return to the difficult but necessary process of open, public legislative work that this chamber was conceived to carry out.”
The House is still in session to vote on 13 bills this evening — none of them dealing with the fiscal cliff but ranging from drywall safety to a World War I memorial.
UPDATE: The House Rules Committee called an emergency late meeting tonight to set in motion the waiver of the normal three-day waiting period for legislation. This would allow the chamber to approve any fiscal cliff deal the same day.
UPDATE: By a quick voice vote, the Rules Committee approved same-day authority for any resolution brought to the House on Dec. 31.