House Speaker John Boehner wants no part of initiating a vote on the “fiscal cliff” for many reasons. For one, Boehner cannot control the majority in the House of Representatives. Instead, Boehner has passed off the “fiscal cliff” ball to his friends in the United States Senate. The inability of Speaker Boehner to lead the House of Representatives is apparent.
In the late afternoon on Friday, the White House Press Pool reported that the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress met at the White House in the Oval Office. The Vice President also attended the meeting that included President Obama. They were also joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
According to the White House Press Pool said that the group met for nearly an hour and shortly thereafter, the President stepped up to the camera and made a statement that made it clear the “fiscal cliff” ball was too hot for Speaker Boehner to handle. “I’m optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. Senators Reid and McConnell are working on such an agreement as we speak.”
Then President Obama made it clear where the action will be. “But if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote –- one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to two million Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction.”
Such a proposal, if passed in the United States Senate, will be presented to the House for an up-or-down vote and give Speaker Boehner political cover. “If members of the House or the Senate want to vote no, they can –- but we should let everybody vote. That’s the way this is supposed to work. If you can get a majority in the House and you can get a majority in the Senate, then we should be able to pass a bill.”
The vote on the “fiscal cliff” may be the last piece of the economic puzzle, since the economy is showing strong signs of improvement as President Obama pointed out. “The economy is growing, but sustaining that trend is going to require elected officials to do their jobs. The housing market is recovering, but that could be impacted if folks are seeing smaller paychecks. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since 2008, but already you’re seeing businesses and consumers starting to hold back because of the dysfunction that they see in Washington.”
President Obama said that he is “modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved.”
The American people are no longer optimistic nor pessimistic. The American people are growing impatient with this “fiscal cliff” ball being passed around the House and the Senate. Many observers believe it is all geared toward saving John Boehner’s job as the house leader.
A selfish move indeed.
Can Congress ever just give the American people some consideration? Patience is wearing thin.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group. Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books