The bipartisan agreement struck in the Senate to avoid the worst effects of the "fiscal cliff'' ran into strong opposition in the Republican-controlled House on Tuesday, with GOP members criticizing the deal for raising taxes without cutting spending.
Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the influential House majority leader, emerged from a two-hour meeting with GOP colleagues and said he opposes the Senate bill, which would let income taxes rise sharply on the rich. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Cantor "forcefully" expressed his concerns during the closed-door session, during which other GOP members expressed grave doubts about the agreement.
Remember, this bill passed the U.S. Senate by an overwhelming, bipartisan 89-8 margin, and although it wasn't ideal for either Democrats or Republicans, it was a compromise that almost everyone could live with (e.g., it was the classic "making of sausage"). But not Eric Can'tor and his band of teahadists in the House; for these crazies, only absolutely ideological purity will do. Of course, given that most of these jerks were elected in gerrymandered, solidly "red" districts, and that the only threat to their reelection would be a primary challenge from their right, they have zero political incentive to compromise, and every political incentive not to. Brilliant system we've got here, huh? Well, I guess it was nice being the world's greatest nation for 100 years or so. Thanks, Eric Can'tor et al, for seriously threatening to end that. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
P.S. I strongly agree with this, although I'd add the word "House" in front of "Republicans" to be a bit clearer about it (not that Senate Republicans are great either, but House Republicans are utterly insane): "Republicans aren't so much brilliant negotiators on behalf the rich as an ideological cult. They won't take a good deal when they get one, and they won't buckle for anyone or anything."
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