Dreier, the Rules Committee chairman, said he and other party leaders are taking steps in advance in case an agreement can be worked out to extend the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and avert the automatic spending cuts under the 2011 debt deal.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Boehner had been clear at the White House about the need for Senate-initiated legislation and that “he’s not going to bring up anything unless something comes over from there.” She said the session was “constructive” but stopped well short of saying whether Democrats would agree to provide support for the legislation or any rule developed to structure floor debate.
If there are snags in negotiations or other delays, Dreier said, a floor vote would be possible as late as the final hours of the current Congress. “It’s conceivable that we could meet on the morning of Jan 3. I hope not. But it’s conceivable,” he said.
The 113th Congress would start officially at noon on Jan. 3.
Dreier said he believed the key to winning support from House Republicans would be language dealing with spending cuts. “There’s got to be a focus on spending reduction. That’s the big key. There’s all this talk about taxes, concern about the sequester, unemployment benefits, all important things,” Dreier said. “But we’ve got to have some kind of commitment to spending reductions.”
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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