Short on Votes, Boehner Cancels Fiscal Cliff Plan B Vote
Late Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called off a vote on his latest proposal to avert the fiscal cliff, acknowledging that he did not have the needed support of members of his own party.
Boehner’s so-called Plan B proposal would have extended the Bush-era tax rates on ordinary and investment income for all taxpayers with a household income less than $1 million. But a vote in the affirmative still would have required members of his caucus to go on record in support of a tax increase, even if it only would have affected less than 0.2% of Americans.
“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,” Boehner said in a statement after Republicans broke from a conference where leaders made a last-minute appeal for votes.
The evening drama followed a day of partisan posturing that saw Senate Democratic leaders and the White House blast Boehner’s intention to bring to a vote a bill that they said would not be considered in the Senate, and would face a veto if it ever made it to President Obama’s desk.
With that, the House went into recess, to return after Christmas with a small number of days to broker a deal ahead of the year-end deadline, when a set of automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts will take effect if no agreement is reached.