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House vote expected today after Senate passes fiscal cliff compomise; Deal would include extension of Hollywood tax incentives; House voting on Senate bill with no amendments; Update: Fiscal cliff deal passes the House

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By Doug Powers  •  January 1, 2013 11:27 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

It happened in the middle of the night, while the sound of noisemakers filled the chilly air, the ball was being dropped and rooms full of besotted burblers compromised brain cells and made a bunch of promises they had no intention of keeping. I’m referring of course to last night’s Senate session, where the august body voted 89-8 to green-light the “$1 in cuts for every $41 in tax increases” fiscal cliff avoidance plan that raises taxes on upper incomes immediately but predictably kicks the can on spending cuts.

The House will more than likely vote on it today:

CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports from Capitol Hill that the House vote could come as early as 1 p.m. Tuesday.

It would prevent middle-class taxes from going up but would raise rates on higher incomes. It would also block spending cuts for two months, extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevent a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and prevent a spike in milk prices.

The measure ensures that lawmakers will have to revisit difficult budget questions in just a few weeks, as relief from painful spending cuts expires and the government requires an increase in its borrowing cap.

House Speaker John Boehner pointedly refrained from endorsing the agreement, though he’s promised a vote on it or a GOP alternative right away. But he was expected to encounter opposition from House conservatives.

“It’s three strikes in my book and I’ll be voting no on this bill,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp told CNN Tuesday morning. Huelskamp says the legislation would impose a hardship on small businesses around the country and falls short of addressing the need for cuts in spending.

Cordes reports that Democrats expect almost all of their members to vote in favor of the deal.

Only eight senators voted against the bill. They were:

Bennet (D-CO)
Carper (D-DE)
Grassley (R-IA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Rubio (R-FL)
Shelby (R-AL)

Harkin voted against the compromise because it didn’t raise taxes on enough Americans. Rubio also voted no, but for the polar opposite reason:

“Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing,” Rubio said. “But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington.”

Rubio added: “Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.

“Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can’t find the work they need.”

On top of it all, massive Obamacare taxes are kicking in as well — taxes that even some Dems who voted for the law have admitted will be job killers.

We’ll use this space for updates later on the House vote — if they do get to that this afternoon.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled hangover.

Update: Watch the House debate live here.

Update II: The deal that passed the Senate continues to be batted around in the House. Some Republicans want amendments that would force more spending cuts (or pretty much any spending cuts), and while they’re at it they should strip out this:

Section 317 of the freshly approved legislation includes an extension for “special expensing rules for certain film and television productions.” Congress first enacted production tax incentives favorable to the domestic entertainment industry in 2004, and extended them in 2008, but the deal was meant to expire in 2011.

The fiscal cliff deal extends the tax incentives through 2013–even as payroll taxes rise on ordinary Americans.

The original tax incentive applied to productions costing less than $15 million to make ($20 million in low-income areas). The 2008 extension applies to all films, up to a deduction of $15 million (or $20 million in low-income areas). The incentive is especially generous to television series; it applies to each TV episode.

Continued tax breaks for an industry loaded with major players who beg to pay higher taxes? Put me down as a firm “no” on being a hypocrite enabler.

Update III: Tonight John Boehner will see if the Republicans have 218 votes to pass an amended version of the Senate’s bill that would include more in the way of spending cuts. If not, the House will have a straight up and down vote on the original Senate bill.

Krauthammer: Complete surrender on everything.

Update IV: Idea of the day:

Update V: Fox News’ Ed Henry tweets that the House is going to vote on the Senate bill with no spending cut amendments.

Mark Knoller of CBS:

The latest word is that the House will vote on the bill at 9 p.m. ET, and it’s likely to pass.

Update Roman numeral whatever: After a lot of floor speeches, the House will vote soon on the bill that passed the Senate earlier. Charlie Rangel just gave an impassioned address — because you can’t add credibility to a tax plan without Charlie’s input.

I’ll post the vote after it’s finished… while the vote takes place, enjoy this musical interlude
*****

The fiscal cliff package has passed the House. Final vote 257 to 167 (according to Fox News). 85 Republicans voted yes, along with 170 Dems. Among Republicans, Eric Cantor voted no, and Paul Ryan and John Boehner voted in favor.

South Carolina Congressman Tim Scott, who will be replacing Jim DeMint in the Senate, explains why he voted no.

(h/t Free Republic)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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