Plan B fizzles, and the House goes home

And we say Aloha to the late Senator Daniel Inouye, D-Hawai‘i.

Happiness is Washington, D.C. in the rearview mirror for beleaguered House Speaker John Boehner, who took a risk in pushing his Republican caucus to support his “Plan B,” which would have allowed the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for those with $1 million or more in income, while extending the tax cuts for all other income levels. Even anti-tax czar Grover Norquist said this provision would not violate the no-new-taxes pledge that many Republican lawmakers signed when they entered federal office. But it smelled like a tax increase to many of the more conservative members of the Republican caucus and they would not support it. The proposal never even made it to the House floor.

So, there’s no fiscal cliff deal before Christmas. Congress will be back in Washington on Dec. 27. Let’s hope the negotiators get some rest, read some constituent mail and return with their deal-making shoes on. Maybe between now and then the Ghost of Christmas Future will visit a few lawmakers and they’ll run out and buy that big turkey in the window… oh wait. That’s another story.

Speaking of constituent mail: have you written your members of Congress this month about impending spending cuts? If not, clearly you are NOT too late. This APA Action Alert walks you through the steps. It only takes a few moments. Let your members of Congress know how much is at stake for science if the White House and Congress fail to work out a solution!

We at APA say “Hail and Farewell” to a great friend of behavioral science, the Honorable Daniel Inouye of Hawai‘i. As chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Inouye had an enormous influence on federal funding of research. Inouye had represented Hawai‘i since it achieved statehood, first in the House of Representatives and later in the Senate, where he was the second-longest serving senator in history. His leadership, bipartisanship and quiet integrity will be truly missed.

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