Maybe part of the reason this progressive isn't throwing brickbats at the Senate vote last night is that the fiscal cliff, quite apart from anything else. had gotten really boring.
Moving on was a nice relief even though nothing moved very far. It's hard not to agree once again with Steve Benen.
From a progressive perspective, there's plenty to disapprove of in this compromise, and I'll explore the president's concessions in more detail later, but I'd note one observation in the agreement's defense: if you'd told me a week ago that the Senate would easily approve a fiscal deal with no Medicare cuts, no Social Security cuts, and no new spending cuts of any kind, I probably wouldn't have believed you. And yet, that's what happened. ...Maddow Blog
What's to stop House Republicans going after the 47%, the poor, and the elderly? Nothing. Expect them to drool blood and feces once again when it's their turn to act. Here's Bloomberg Businessweek:
The vote early today in Washington shifts the pressure to House Speaker John Boehner, who hasn’t said if he’ll accept the agreement or change it. He will face difficulty mustering Republican votes for any bill with higher taxes for 2013 than they were in 2012. He hasn’t said whether he’ll ask the House, which convenes at 12 p.m. today, to approve it. ...Businessweek
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, and it was unclear when the vote would occur.
Biden scheduled a separate meeting with House Democrats to reprise his role of Monday night when he promoted compromise to Democrats before that chamber voted.
CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that Democrats expect almost all of their members to vote in favor of the deal.
Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., arrived at the Capitol in late morning, and both bid "Happy New Year" to greeters but didn't say anything substantive about the Senate-passed bill.
One of the more conservative House Republicans, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, had no such reticence to speak.
"It's three strikes in my book and I'll be voting no on this bill," he told CNN Tuesday morning, saying the legislation would impose a hardship on small businesses around the country and falls short of addressing the need for cuts in spending. ...CBSNews
And TPM has this ominous report:
House Democrats are caucusing now in the Capitol, with Vice President Joe Biden, in a meeting that began at 12:15 p.m. ET. House Republicans will meet separately at 1 p.m. ET (then meet again later today, according to one report). No vote has been scheduled yet in the House, and there are indications that no decision has been made on whether a vote will happen today at all. Meanwhile, some conservative Members are expressing outrage over the deal and vowing to oppose it. ...TPM
In Washington, according to NPR, all eyes are on Paul Ryan. He (and Marco Rubio) are already playing on the 2016 field.
The earlier lift in the atmosphere is turning into real fear this afternoon on the part of economists who sense that the House may bring the Senate's sandcastle down. Which of course demolishes the whole deal as the old 2012 becomes the new 2013 House with new representatives.
"Wait for the Asian markets when they open late this afternoon," is the warning.
Paul Krugman posted his reaction to the Senate's bill earlier, too. His focus is on the politics and the character of president.
... On the principle of the thing, you could say that Democrats held their ground on the essentials — no cuts in benefits — while Republicans have just voted for a tax increase for the first time in decades.
So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.
If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him. ...Paul Krugman, Economics and Politics
Is that quibbling? Or does Paul Krugman get it right?