Fiscal Cliff

4:45am

Thu January 3, 2013
It's All Politics

Was Boehner's Fiscal Cliff End Run Past GOP The New Normal?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (right), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., enter a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

By letting the House take up the Senate's fiscal cliff-dodging legislation that raises income tax rates on the wealthiest earners, Speaker John Boehner answered affirmatively a question that had been on many minds: Would he allow an up-or-down floor vote on a bill opposed by most fellow House Republicans?

Until the New Year's Day vote, Boehner had generally operated the House under what was known as the Hastert Rule. Named for former Speaker Dennis Hastert, it required a "majority of the majority" to support legislation before the speaker approved a floor vote.

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3:49pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Environment

How Algae Got a Boost from the Fiscal Cliff Deal

Tara Schumacher, a Ph.D. grad student in Ken Reardon’s lab, looks through a microscope surrounded by flasks of different algae strains.
Colorado State University

Wind isn’t the only alternative energy industry to get a boost from the Fiscal Cliff deal. Also included is a tax credit for algae growers encouraging biofuel production that could one day power cars and boats.

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3:23pm

Wed January 2, 2013
The Two-Way

UPDATE: With A Swish Of His Autopen, Obama Signs Fiscal Cliff Bill

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:43 am

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii, Wednesday. Obama returned to Hawaii to continue his vacation — prompting questions about how he will sign the fiscal cliff bill.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Update at 7:35 a.m ET, Jan. 3. Signed By Autopen:

As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature. As we outlined earlier, this has been done before.

Our original post — "How Will President Obama Sign The Fiscal Cliff Bill?"

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12:49pm

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:03 pm

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

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11:29am

Wed January 2, 2013
It's All Politics

'Rum Cliff' And Other Close Shaves In The Tax, Spending Deal

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:12 pm

The 'rum tax' is extended.
istock

You might have thought the intense partisan negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were all about who wins and who loses when it comes to taxes and government programs.

And that assessment would be essentially correct — but some of the winners might strike you as a bit odd.

Tucked away in the bill's obscure cul-de-sacs are a bevy of obscure tax and spending provisions. We picked five for your perusal. Here goes:

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