Boehner offers GOP two "cliff" choices

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrive to a second Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin

As House Republicans try to get past an impasse on the "fiscal cliff", House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio presented his members with two options: to amend the bill with new spending cuts or to just vote on the Senate bill as-is.

After meeting with the Republican conference and listening to members' concerns, Boehner cooked up the plan.  According to a GOP leadership aide, the first option would be create an amendment to the Senate bill that would add a $323 billion package of spending cuts. If the House GOP leadership can find 218 votes to support this amendment, they will bring it up for a vote and send an amended bill back to the Senate.

The Speaker and the leader both cautioned members about the risk in such a strategy. They told them there is no guarantee the Senate, which is adjourned until Noon tomorrow, would act on the amended bill. If the House cannot get a commitment of 217 votes for the amendment tonight, GOP leaders will bring up the Senate-passed measure for an up-or-down vote in the House. House Democrats insist there are enough Democratic votes to pass the Senate version of the bill.

Meantime, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CBS News, "we will absolutely not take up the House bill if they change the bipartisan agreement reached in the Senate."



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