What Happens Next

Implicit in last night’s deal-making on the fiscal cliff was a certain level of confidence among Senate Republicans that they wouldn’t be left hung out to dry by their House counterparts. It’s not entirely clear whether that confidence was based on private assurances from the House GOP leadership, the notion that overwhelming passage in the Senate would force the House GOP’s hand, or the sense that the reality of going off the cliff would serve to focus the collective mind after Dec. 31 in a way that mere hypotheticals had not just a few days ago. Whatever the case, today we should get a much better idea of whether that confidence was misplaced.

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.

All of which suggests there is more work for Speaker Boehner and his whip operation to do
before being able to bring the deal to the floor.