Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio Republican, suggested Tuesday that Republican senators who voted for the plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts early Tuesday morning might have had a bit too much holiday cheer in them.
“I think our sense, at least in the House, was that a number of the Republicans that voted for it must have been drunk, because it really was a number that wasn’t reflective of where we thought some of these people were going to be on a bill like this,” he said after emerging from a House GOP caucus meeting.
The Republican congressman suggested there’s a decent chance the bill, which was approved 89-8 by the Senate, would be sent back with amendments — a potentially dicey prospect coming from a restless conference that has often vexed GOP leadership and Speaker John A. Boehner.
“I’m sure the leadership will come up with a plan that just unites us,” Mr. LaTourette quipped.
The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Senate-passed package showed the bill adds more than $330 billion in net new spending, thanks to new refundable tax credits and new unemployment benefits. All told, the bill deepens deficits by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade, with the vast majority of that coming in the form of extended tax cuts.
Mr. LaTourette added that any attempt to lay blame on the House for further delays in the process was pure folly.
“What the Senate amended has been sitting over there for months,” he said. “And so the fact that they decided to finally get off their keisters and send us something, and now we have 45 hours to act — I don’t think that reflects badly on the House.”