Looking for a last minute holiday deal? So is Congress.
With just a little more than two weeks before the U.S. economy careens off the fiscal cliff, President Obama and Speaker Boehner remain far apart on a deal that marries new tax revenue with spending cuts. The Speaker has told House Republicans not to make any plans for Christmas, and members of Congress are becoming more skeptical that any deal can get done before the New Year.
But some may feel like they’ve seen this movie before. Congress has put major legislation off into the latter half of December three times in the last three years. In 2009, President Obama put his Hawaii vacation on hold until the Senate passed his health care overhaul, which didn’t happen until Christmas Eve. The following year, the House and Senate waited until the third week of December to sign off on the $858 billion bill that extended the Bush tax cuts and added new stimulus spending. And in 2011, President Obama didn’t sign the payroll tax extension until December 23rd, the Friday before Christmas.