The Senate under Harry Reid is demanding that the US House immediately pass H.R. 8, which is the Senate’s fiscal cliff deal. Constitutionally, spending and taxation bills must originate in the US House. So the Senate took H.R. 8, gutted it, and substituted last night’s deal into that bill. That sounds messy but it has been done many times in the past.
But for all the Democrats’ bluster, the House actually took up H.R 8 way back in July 2012. The House’s version of H.R. stopped the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for another year. It cleaned up the tax code and patched the AMT, among other things. The House passed it on August 1, 2012.
The Democrat-controlled Senate did nothing with it until the fiscal cliff deadline loomed. That’s when, last night, they gutted it and passed it in the dead of night on New Year’s.
The Democrats’ demand to pass the Senate version now also brings to mind an old promise that came from none other than Barack Obama. He promised not to have bill voted on until they had been posted online for five days, so the American people could read them and debate them and weigh in on them with their representatives. Obama has repeatedly broken that promise ever since, starting with the Lilly Ledbetter Act and proceeding right through the passage of ObamaCare.