Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner pulled his "Plan B" bill off the House floor Thursday night without conducting a vote after conceding the GOP would not come up with enough support to pass it. The bill, which would have extended the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for those making under $1 million a year, was Boehner's latest offering to avert the fiscal cliff.
Boehner and President Barack Obama have been negotiating for weeks but have been unable to come to any sort of agreement to avoid the cliff, the combined set of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will begin to take place January 1 if the parties don't make a deal. Failing to put his Plan B up for a vote is a major political setback for Boehner, who was unable to find enough votes from his own party. Many Tea Party Republicans refused to support the bill because it would have raised taxes on those making over $1 million, and they oppose raising taxes on anyone.
The bill would have been unlikely to pass in the Senate, but would have allowed Boehner to shift the blame for the absence of a deal to Obama and the Democrats. Obama has repeatedly accused Republicans of holding a solution on the fiscal cliff hostage in order to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. There will now be no votes in the House until after Christmas, increasing the likelihood that the country will go off the cliff on the first of the year.
Did Plan B Backfire on John Boehner? Here is the Debate Club's Take: