The House will not be holding a vote on a deficit deal Monday night, forcing Americans to ring in the new year over the fiscal cliff.
Though subject to change, news of no deal comes just hours after President Obama held a news conference affirming that an end to negotiations was “within sight.” Lawmakers had already reportedly agreed upon an income threshold of $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples to receive a tax increase, with rates to return to Clinton-era levels. The end of the debate, according to aides, hinged on the timeline to delay the automatic sequester cuts slated to kick in at the start of the new year.
Republicans turned off by Obama’s tone in his event Monday afternoon blamed the president for tipping the country over the cliff. But Democratic sources tell NBC News that the country would be better off with more time for Congress to outline a larger deficit reduction plan.
And after weeks of Obama’s urging for Congress to vote on the portions of the tax code that both Democrats and Republicans already agree on, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell late Monday afternoon said that he agreed.
“Let’s pass the tax relief portion now. Let’s take what’s been agreed to and get moving. The president wants this, members of Congress want to protect taxpayers, and we can get it done now,” he said on the Senate floor Monday.
“There are ironies that abound all along here today in these negotiations,” NBC’s Mike Viqueira said following the announcement.
Rather than vote on the deal, congressional aides say the House will hold a series of non-controversial “suspension” bills Monday night. Sources tell NBC that final vote would likely take place the first of the new year.