Republicans in the House are expressing strong opposition to the Senate fiscal cliff bill, increasing the likelihood of the bill being amended and sent back to the Senate.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats said they would reject any House effort to change the terms, The Hill reported.
If the House doesn't approve the deal, it could have enormous consequences when financial markets reopen tomorrow, beginning with Asian stock exchanges this evening. If the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts are not averted by Jan. 3, when a new Congress is sworn in, the legislative process would have to start over again.
Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, told reporters as he was leaving a GOP conference meeting that he could not support the bill.
A lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill "was a universal concern amongst members in today's meeting," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. An analysis released today by the Congressional Budget Office said the deal would add $4 trillion to the deficit over a decade. Many lawmakers also oppose the Senate plan's two-month delay before automatic spending cuts are dealt with, Politico reported.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other high-ranking Democrats held a press conference Tuesday afternoon urging Boehner to keep his promise to hold a vote on whatever the Senate worked out. "Speaker Boehner said he would hold a vote," Pelosi said. "That is what the American people deserve. We look forward to seeing it."