At a 50-second "press conference" earlier this afternoon, John Boehner signaled that the fiscal cliff negotiations have re-entered the kabuki phase. He said the House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on a bill to permanently extend Bush-era tax rates on all income below $1 million, while AGI above $1 million would be subjected to the Clinton-era top marginal rate. "Tomorrow," he said, "the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for every American. Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill. Or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history."
Senate Democrats of course aren't going to pass the bill. Instead they'll call on the House of Representatives to pass the bill that's already passed the Senate, and that extends Bush-era rates to all AGI below $250,000. And that will be the terms of the deadlock for the next few days.
Whether that means there will be furious negotiations on Friday and Saturday before a grand bargain is revealed on Sunday in time for a few days of CBO scoring and a quick post-Christmas vote, or whether it means we just bluff through the New Year before House Republicans cave I couldn't yet say. But for a while at least—kabuki.
TODAY IN SLATE
Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison
In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal.
Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014
Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute
Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch
How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us
A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.
Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets
Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.
You Had to Be There
What we can learn from things that used to be funny.