House Republican leadership today responded to their session with President Obama in a press conference.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) condemned the Internal Revenue Service targeting scandal on Wednesday, demanding that the administration hold someone responsible.
"The IRS admitted to targeting conservatives, even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word 'if,'" he told reporters at a weekly briefing. "My question isn't about who is going to resign. My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"
Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the FBI to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups for extra tax scrutiny.
Speaker Boehner made no mention of jobs during the Republican press conference today, nor did any of the other GOP House "leaders."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this morning that it "looks like" Congress will fail to come to a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff, blaming the failure on House Speaker John Boehner's "dictatorship" running the lower chamber.
"It looks like that's where we're headed," Reid said. "I don't know, time-wise, how it can happen now."
It's not exactly a surprise — leaders left Washington last week without any imminent signs of a deal in the making. But it's a grim warning just days before tax hikes and automatic spending cuts begin to take effect.
Reid opened the Senate session by launching into a lengthy criticism of the House and Boehner, saying he "seems to care more about his Speakership" than making a deal on the cliff.
The House is being run "by a dictatorship of the Speaker," Reid said. He accused Boehner of waiting until the election of the Speaker on Jan. 3 to get involved with negotiations. And he urged the lower chamber to pass the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, which the Senate narrowly passed in July. The bill made permanent all of the Bush-era tax cuts on incomes of less than $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals.
Reid also slammed the House for not being in session on Thursday. He said that instead of being in Washington, Republicans are "out watching movies."
Meanwhile, President Obama cut his vacation to Hawaii short and returned to Washington on Wednesday, in an effort to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. Only five days remain before the automatic spending cuts and tax increases are scheduled to take effect. Obama left for Hawaii on Friday after weeks of unsuccessful negotiations, but said he would return to the Capitol this week in an effort to get Republicans to agree to a stopgap measure or obtain a broader deal. Congress returns to D.C. on Thursday, but no talks are scheduled and there was no virtually no communication between the White House and Republicans over the holiday weekend.
"According to House Republican leadership aides, House GOP leaders have not yet called their members back to Washington D.C., and WILL NOT be in session tomorrow for legislative business. According to one GOP aide, "It's up to Senate Democrats to act right now."