House GOP leaders say Senate has to make next move to avoid cliff

McClatchy NewspapersDecember 26, 2012 

House of Representatives leaders talked Wednesday and said they'd wait for the Senate to act on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. House leaders said that once the Senate acts, they will consider whether to take up that measure.

The House , which has a Republican majority, in August passed a bill to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year, for one year. It has also approved legislation last week that's an alternative to the $109 billion in automatic spending cuts due to take effect Jan. 2.

The Democratic-run Senate this summer passed a measure to extend only tax cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 and families making less than $250,000.

In a joint statement, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his leadership team gave this report Wednesday:

"The House has acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. Those bills await action by the Senate.

"If the Senate will not approve and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the House. Once this has occurred, the House will then consider whether to accept the bills as amended, or to send them back to the Senate with additional amendments.

"The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act. The lines of communication remain open, and we will continue to work with our colleagues to avert the largest tax hike in American history, and to address the underlying problem, which is spending."

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