Later today, the Senate will approve that White House-GOP tax deal and send it on to the House. Will its approval be a slam dunk? It depends what House Democrats decide to do on the details.
Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are aggravated for a number of reasons right now. Yes, they are going into the minority, but they're mad because the White House cut them out of the serious negotiations on this tax deal.
They are mad because they don't want to vote for a plan that allows tax rates to stay the same on those in top income brackets. They don't like the details on the estate tax in this deal.
And they think the White House didn't get enough in return for those two items.
That's why Democratic leaders have been making all kinds of noise about forcing changes in this tax deal, and then sending that amended plan back to the Senate.
But will it even get that far? Not only are liberal Democrats a wild card in this political battle, but so are lots of Republicans in the House, most of whom have been staying on the sidelines in this debate.
Not on the sidelines though are 2012 Presidential hopefuls like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, both of whom have come out against this Obama-GOP deal.
"Given the unambiguous message that the American people sent to Washington in November, it is difficult to understand how our political leaders could have reached such a disappointing agreement," Romney wrote in an op-ed printed yesterday in USA Today, as he delivered a direct message to the GOP.
"The new, more conservative Congress should reach a better solution."
I thought that Palin's opposition would have stirred more action within House GOP ranks, but it has not. Chances are that Romney's message might not move too many people either, if the fix is in on this bill.
But, what if? What if the Democrats make some changes in the tax deal bill? Would Republicans run from the agreement?
As of now, the tax deal remains on course. But whether it stays there is clearly up to House Democrats. There is a lot of heat on them from the White House not to muck this thing up.
And the clock is ticking towards January 1, when the Bush tax cuts/rates and some Obama stimulus tax provisions expire.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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