'Plan B' US 'fiscal cliff' bills clear hurdle in House

WASHINGTON - The US House of Representatives on Thursday cleared the way for debate and votes later in the day on two Republican tax and spending-cut bills opposed by US President Barack Obama.
House Speaker John Boehner said he crafted the two bills in case broader "fiscal cliff" deficit reduction negotiations with Obama fail.
The House allowed the full debate on the bills to go forward on a narrow, 219-197 vote.