US House Republicans say resigned to tax hike in fiscal cliff
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"There will be resistance from a lot of House conservatives to a deal that does that," Flake said.
Asked if the days leading up to next Monday, Dec. 31 could thus be fruitless, Flake said, "That is what I am afraid of."
A Senate Democratic aide did not discount the possibility of some spending cuts being included in a limited bill to avert the fiscal cliff - even if they fell far short of the $1 trillion or so in cuts over 10 years that at one point was being discussed in talks between Boehner and Obama.
'TIRED OF WAITING'
Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who also participated in Thursday's House Republican conference call, said its overarching theme was that the Senate should take the bill passed by the House earlier this year to extend all expiring income tax rates and amend it in a way senators see fit.
The House could then either accept that measure, or amend it, and bounce it back to the Senate.
"People are tired of waiting on the Senate to do things," Cole said.
Senate Democrats counter that last July they passed a bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts - except on net household income above $250,000 a year.
Nevertheless, the Senate must still couple its tax-cut bill with Obama's request for extending jobless benefits and possibly some other budget or tax measures.
"I assume the House would want to come back on Sunday knowing that we (the Senate) were going to do something on Friday or Saturday," said Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Senate's Republican leadership.
House Republican leaders informed their members that the chamber could stay in session dealing with the fiscal cliff through Wednesday, Jan. 2 - the last day of the current Congress and a day before the new Congress is sworn in.
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