By Misty Poe
Times West Virginian
What do you do when “Plan B” fails?
“The long and short of it, we called it a night and gave the ball to Harry Reid,” U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said Friday morning following what he called a “meltdown” in Washington, D.C., the night before when the House failed to take up the plan to prevent the end of tax cuts on Jan. 1 for 99.8 percent of Americans, or those making less than $1 million annually.
“Now it’s up to Harry to have the negotiations, and we’ll see when (the Senate) comes back next Thursday ... or next Wednesday. We don’t know quite when they’ll come back,” McKinley said.
But one thing is for sure; the House is in recess until the Senate takes action. And with 10 days until the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and the start of across-the-board spending cuts on federal programs, there’s not much time before lawmakers might find themselves slipping over the “fiscal cliff.”
“It’s obviously pretty disappointing for all of us, but I think this is one more play in the chess game that they do in Washington,” McKinley lamented. “It has been very frustrating for all of us that the Senate has failed to participate in any of this.”
But even without the compromise of party leadership and the president, which seems less likely as each day passes, the Senate has options, McKinley said, to avoid the cliff. The first option is HB 6563, which first passed the House in May and was sent to the Senate for consideration, and then sent back to the Senate again Thursday.
McKinley said this bill has very fine-tuned spending cuts, instead of the “Draconian” cuts that would come of sequestration if the two chambers and the president cannot reach a compromise by the deadline.